Wine bars and tea shops are becoming increasingly common on high streets while businesses such as pubs, cafes and takeaways decline, says a new study that highlights the rise of “boutique” retail outlets on high streets. Insurance firm Simply Business analysed 31,786 independent retail outlets across the country and found the proportion of pubs fell 20% in the last year. There were also 11% fewer cafes, 16% fewer sandwich bars and 3% fewer takeaways. The overall proportion of licensed premises fell 27%, although there was an 18% increase in off-licences. Meanwhile, the proportion of wine bars and tea rooms increased 13% and 9% respectively. According to the study, the outlet type to experience the fastest decline between 2011 and 2012 was the internet cafe, followed by licensed premises (in total), clothing hire outlets, pubs, and sportswear suppliers. The fastest risers were model shops, musical instrument shops, bakers, fabric shops and health food outlets. “It is encouraging to see that the high street is adapting to the new retail landscape, where savvy shoppers have numerous alternatives including online, out of town shopping malls and supermarkets,” comments Jason Stockwood, chief executive of Simply Business. “Our findings show that independent retailers are increasingly looking to specialise or offer something different to alternative outlets, tempting shoppers with a more quirky, unique experience.” The survey says London has the highest proportion of outlets used as restaurants – 12%, against a national average of 5% - while Manchester leads the way on takeaways, with 14% compared to 4% nationally.