Big name chain stores are leaving Swansea at a high rate compared with the rest of Wales, new figures for BBC Wales suggest.
The city has also seen a rise in shop vacancies, with almost one in five of its stores lying empty, according to the Week In Week Out investigation.
One marketing expert said the city needed to "get its act together".
Research commissioned by the programme found that Llanelli had the highest vacancy rate (27.9%) and also saw the largest vacancy rise over the past three years, up 17.4%...
The loss of big chains from Swansea from December 2010 to April this year is easily the largest in Wales.It's at nearly 6% which is significantly higher than the national average, [which is] a reduction of 0.25%.
Of the towns and cities studied, only Llanelli (-3.1%) comes close, while Cardiff had seen a growth of 0.2%.
I'll expand on what he said "We need to concentrate on niche boutique retail sales.
"We need to create a physical environment that makes it attractive. It's actually to do what's going on in the area.
"If we've got pop-up shops, pop-up cafes and we've got things going on in the street, people will come.
"It's the old argument about the unique selling point. While we do need anchor tenants we do need to define the shopping experience in Swansea as different.
"It's about having the communication and vision - we've got to have some idea of what that's about.
"The problem is we've thought no further than brand recognition - but that has to be part of wider vision that recognises what's already here. We don't give independents the credit they are due."
Couldn't agree more about the unique selling point Swansea musn't focus too much on being a retail centre theres going to be no saint davids 2 style development there. Lets hope the UK government extends electrification there also anything good happening in Swansea is good for Wales( that goes out the window with football though)
Swansea has been a victim of unfortunate timing. The Council had a major redevelopment scheme lined up around 2008 - then the recession hit, and as a consequence very little seems to have happened since. Other cities have suffered similar problems: Bradford's planned new Westfield shopping centre has been left as a big hole in the ground.
However, Swansea also suffers from a unique legacy of poor planning stretching back decades. The city centre is cut off from the waterfront by busy roads. The railway station is miles away from the bus station. The recently-introduced one-way system seems to be deeply unpopular locally and the newer public spaces are quite unattractive. The city is really crying out for major investment by both public and private sectors.
I've seen photos of Swansea before the blitz and have to say it was a very pretty place. It is such a shame that we hadn't the money to rebuild it to its former glory following the war. The city centre is in dire need of somebody to help it. Maybe, if they stay in the Premier League, somebody will come and help them, or better said, that their council will take their fingers out of their arses and do something about it