It is not only hard-working retailers who face an uncertain future as the high street struggles with falling footfall and increased online competition.
Spare a thought for the lizards, snakes, chameleons and pygmy hedgehogs in Arbroath, facing a New Year flit after the closure of a town centre pet shop.
Laura Christie, 44, owner of Christie’s Critters, is the latest business owner to throw in the towel after watching her profits plunge and deciding there is no way back.
She has had to let go her one member of staff and will close the shop she has run for six years in January after fulfilling a handful of remaining customer orders.
Laura will take the remaining unsold animals home when she closes the shop door, on 261 High Street, for the final time.
She said a combination of dropping footfall and competition from online retailers meant her business has struggled in recent years.
She said: “Last Saturday, we had three customers. A few years ago that would have been 30. We would have had the odd family coming in, with their three kids or whatever, asking what we could do for them.
“What happens now is people come in, I’ll spend about an hour of my time, and then they’ll tell me they can get it cheaper online. I can’t compete with those kind of prices.”
Her shop sells snakes, lizards, tortoises and pygmy hedgehogs, among others. Laura said she did not make a large profit on selling the animal’s themselves, with the money lying with the “set up” required to look after the pets.
“It’s a bit depressing. Shops are closing down and there are not a great deal of jobs out there,” she added.
She said local issues, such as the effect of parking charges on footfall and the forthcoming retail park recently approved for the edge of town, had also played a part in her decision.
She said: “I can’t see the high street lasting much longer, especially with the retail park. Everyone will get what they need there, what with the free parking.
“There’s not going to be any footfall in the street at all. I do think we’re looking at the end of high street retail, not just in Arbroath, but in other towns as well.”
Angus is one of the worst hit council areas in Scotland for unlet shops lying empty, according to a recent report from the Federation of Small Businesses.
The Transforming Towns report highlighted 15% of shops across the county are empty, the third highest percentage in Scotland.