This seems symptomatic of Retail everywhere in nearly every W. European Country and the USA. U.K. Stores Face Most Insolvencies Since 2008 Amid Slump: Retail - Businessweek
I think soon you won't be able to tell which country you are living in by looking at the 4 or 5 stores left trading in future on "Main St" / "High St".
Probably we'll only have : Starbucks coffee, A global supermarket "Express" type store, a couple of Banks and real estate agents, a Macdonalds (not in Iceland !!) a Gas (Petrol) station and loads of those awful really sleazy looking "fast food" outlets.
If we're lucky a decent Pub or Cafe might survive -- but most towns / cities are beginning to look really unattractive places to visit these days with rows of boarded up retail outlets and vile sleazy fast food outlets giving the whole place an atmosphere of "an urban guerilla warfare zone".
Even if you are willing to step into this "minefield" Greedy City councils try and wring the last cent / euro / pound etc out of you for exhorbitant parking and convey the feeling to you -- even though this town is dying on its feet please DON'T COME AND SPEND YOUR MONEY HERE AGAIN".
I really can't believe how people can stand idly by and simply watch whole communities "go down the pan" -- even though the cause is due more to GREED and stupid town councils rather than actual economic conditions --bad though they are.
Hopefully someone in the know or some new LOCAL type businesses can reverse the trend.
Apart from the difficulties of RETAIL in general these days - Corporate Greed pays its fair share of adding to retailers difficulties. Rents are FAR FAR too high -- so small local businesses which potentially could fill thge gap are priced OUT OF THE MARKET and city planners give the Landlords tax breaks even when the stores are empty.
Surely it's better to allow small businesses to re-vitalize the cities even if the Rents they can pay are much lower.