The report from Deloitte warns retailers could have to reduce their property portfolios by 30pc–40pc and adapt what remains to meet the changing demands of consumers.
"The majority of UK retailers have simply got too many stores," Silvia Rindone, a director in the retail consulting practice at Deloitte and author of the Store of the Future report, told the Guardian.
Online sales are forecast to reach £43bn by 2015, accounting for 14pc of all retail sales.
The growing trend in the United States for large warehouse-style retail outlets to have free in-store Wi-Fi to help customers shop online is expected to spread around the world.
Deloitte's research echoes the view of Mary Portas, the retail guru, who warned Britain’s High Streets have reached a “crisis point” and will "disappear forever" as shopping destinations unless they are urgently regenerated. The uphill battle facing retailers with stores was highlight by struggling video games retailer Game Group on Wednesday. The company, which has seen its sales fall as more shoppers go online, has asked for trading of its shares to be suspended after announcing that it believes there is no equity value left in the group.
Game, which trades from about 1,270 stores in nine European markets and Australia, employing 10,000, said it had made the decision following discussions with its lending banks and a potential third party provider of finance to the firm.
OpCapita, the new owner of High Street elecricals retailer Comet, has also put a third of its stores up for sale, according to reports.