The UK high street has seen a decline in the number of independent shops for the first time since 2012, according to the Local Data Company.

Figures by the LDC show that 144 independent shops closed in the first half of 2015, compared with a net increase of 289 shops in the same period in 2014.

Convenience retail, classified as bakers, butchers, food shops, and supermarkets, also went into decline from growth in previous years.

The LDC also revealed that retail parks continue to see a positive increase in occupancy (+2.09%) while high streets decline at -0.26%.

LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said: “The first half of 2015 has shown how fluid and challenging the retail environment is, be you an independent or a chain retailer.”