5,268 shops were closed on the High Street last year, PWC and the Local Data Company have revealed.
However, 5,094 shops were opened, leaving a difference of 174 fewer stores. It is the first time since the height of the recession that more shops were shut than opened.
London suffered the biggest fall in store closures (down 101), while Scotland, Yorkshire and the North East also lost a number of outlets. 1,084 shops closed in London last year and just 983 opened.
The West Midlands fared best, with 17 more shops on the High Street. Wales has also seen a slight increase.
Supermarkets, pawnbrokers, Charity shops, pound stores and shoe outlets were the retail growth areas, whereas bookshops, electrical stores, travel agents and men's fashion stores suffered the biggest losses on the High Street.
"In the past the closure were offset by openings but 2011 has shown a true decline," Mr Hopkinson said. "With the move to out of town locations and the numbers of closures being announced currently, this decline is likely to continue into 2012 and thus lead to a rise in vacancy rates."