The number of retail outlets opening in the West Midlands is at its highest level for three years, according to new research.
The analysis tracked 5,147 outlets in the West Midlands operated by multiple retailers - those with more than five outlets nationally - in 32 town and city centres across the region.
In the first six months of 2017, 191 shops opened on high streets, retail parks and shopping centres against 224 closures.
The figures come from new research compiled by financial services firm PwC and the Local Data Company.
The report shows the net difference between store openings and closures in the first half of 2017 has increased significantly to a net loss of 33 stores compared to a net loss of 44 the first half of 2016.
This represented the lowest net decline since the first half of 2013 when 40 more stores closed than opened.
Birmingham faired well with a net gain of six stores, 35 closures against 41 openings, while Tamworth saw the biggest net decline of seven.
Among those growing at the fastest rate during the first half of 2017 were satellite/ TV retailers (seven openings), fashion stores (11) and coffee shops (six).
Those seeing the largest decline included charity shops (seven closures) and shoe shops and newsagents (both five).
Andy Lyon, partner and head of retail at PwC in the Midlands, said: "It's encouraging to see the high street holding up - and even rallying in some cases.
"The twin canons of increased online purchases and a tough economy have seen many retailers take a long, hard look at their store portfolios.
"There will always be a physical presence on the high street but developments in technology are accelerating and impacting future staffing and operating models.
"Ways of shopping are continuously transforming and include subscription models, the connected home, and companies using data analytics to suggest your next purchase.
"Major questions are beginning to be asked about who will ultimately own the consumer. The UK is one of the world leaders for consumer online purchases.
"Retailers must continue to evolve if they are to make the most of both new digital opportunities and the country’s high streets."