Another month, another bloodbath on UK high streets. 100 stores to go at M&S, 49 at Mothercare and a 42% decline in profits at Arcadia. The horror show comes with a consistent villain; nimbler online competitors, better serving the changing habits of the British shopper.

Whatever the brand, the solution seems to be the same. A programme of store closures and redundancies. Deciding which stores to close is usually driven by traditional metrics of revenue per square foot, year-on-year comparison and property cost. Whilst this is easy to understand and the data readily available, it neglects some of the critical reasons behind why a physical estate still has value.

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