Almost one shop closed every day in Scotland last year, a study has revealed.
A total of 353 stores closed during 2012, a rise of 14% from the previous year with card shops, jewellers and travel agents amongst the most common outlets to stop trading.
Research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Local Data Company shows that the number of new stores openings also fell from 2011 figures leaving empty buildings on the nation's High Streets.
Bruce Cartwright, head of business recovery services at PwC in Scotland, said: "While the data is a little disappointing, it is perhaps important to acknowledge that a number of businesses with closures had anticipated these for some time.
"Retailers generally shared two problems - too many stores and too little multi-channel activity - while some had failed to deal with their underlying issues, hiding behind light touch restructuring processes, especially Company Voluntary Arrangements."
Some 276 new shops opened last year with discount stores, loan companies and betting shops the most common new premises.
Glasgow was the city with most shop closures, 113, but it also had the most new store openings with 95. Of the major towns and cities Aberdeen was the only one to not experience an overall fall in shop numbers.
The Scottish figures follow a UK-wide trend of increased closures.
Matthew Hopkinson, director of The Local Data Company, said: "2012 was the first year that we have seen significant reductions of multiple retailers in town centres across Great Britain with a net loss of nearly 1,800 stores. We can expect to see this trend continue and indeed accelerate in 2013."
He added: "Will the discounters, pawnbrokers, charity shops, coffee shops and supermarkets continue to fill a large proportion of these closing stores? Town centres will have to adapt faster than ever before to maintain their attraction to consumers."