- Start date: 1 January 2021
- End date: 31 December 2022
- Principal investigator: Dr Gissell Huaccha, Leeds University Business School
- Co-investigators: Professor Jamie Morgan, Leeds Beckett University
The impact of COVID-19 on customer behaviour was immediate and widespread across all industries and regions in the UK. These unprecedented changes have put the future of towns and cities in question. In this report, we examine the impact of COVID-19 on the spatial distribution of business closures in West Yorkshire. Using unique store-level data, we furnish a comprehensive review of the change in trends in West Yorkshire's major metropolitan districts and its core cities.
Retail, Hospitality, Entertainment and Leisure (RHEL) businesses are the lifeblood of every town and city and the consumers they attract are the oxygen that enables towns and cities to exist, grow and thrive. There is a cadence — a rhythm — associated with how the RHEL businesses and cities interact with one another over time. With this cadence comes the news that in turn establishes and sustains enduring relationships and drives value to the wider economy.
Understanding the spatial distribution of RHEL business closures and openings in West Yorkshire allows policy-led decisions to be made on how best to structure the future of West Yorkshire.