Report: 40 Percent of Stores Could Close Within Five Years

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Closing up shop.

When it comes to online shopping, we’ll admit that we’re more than a little addicted. But what is our e-commerce habit doing to brick and mortar stores?

According to a report from audit firm Deloitte, up to 40 percent of shops might have to close in the next five years due to loss of business to online shopping, the Guardian reports. With property costs adding up (particularly for retail shops with lots of outposts), their only choice is to embrace the web.

The report found that online sales account for 14 percent of all retail sales, and 22 percent of people did not buy their last item of clothing or accessories in a store. And while more and more retailers are utilizing e-commerce within their brick and mortar stores (using iPads, for example, to help customers order merchandise), only 9 percent of customers want to see the full product ranges in stores.

"The high street will become full of coffee shops, building societies, kiosks and hubs to pick up stuff," said retail analyst Philip Dorgan. "It's a different place from 10 years ago and I imagine in 10 years' time it will be a different place again."