Surviving shop owners fear they could be next, hit by the "contagion" of boarded-up windows and locked doors.
Bills and letters from the Inland Revenue can be seen piling up behind the glass front of what used to be Pylones boutique gift shop.
Some traders claim its owners, along with numerous others, shut up shop because they could not pay their rent.
It comes in the wake of a report that found a quarter of business owners say the outlook is so bleak they would rather close and work for a company.
Paul Dowling, 64, the owner of Classic Prints in King's Road, says small businesses on the once thriving stretch are now "staring into the abyss".
He said: "It's so tough, much worse than this time last year. Landlords are living in a different age. They are just not tuned into the realities of businesses and it is killing us.
"Just before Christmas, I counted 19 empty shops and empty shops are contagious. Plus they mean people just won't come here any more. Landlords don't differentiate between big chains, and when one moves in they raise the market rents and expect us to pay.
"It has killed the character of the King's Road. It used to be artists, independent boutiques and small shops but it's fast turning into any UK high street. It's very sad.
"The next rent review worries me deeply. Landlords just don't listen to us - and the big ones can afford to have empty shops. We have been in the King's Road for 20 years and this is the worst it has ever been."
Stores including, Noah's Ark gift shop, Chelsea Pianos and Love Bakery are also sitting empty.
Rodney Baldwin, 62, is manager of Green and Stone art materials shop and framers, next door to the old Chelsea Piano store which closed last year.
He said traders were being "squeezed from all angles", adding: "We just don't know what is around the corner. My main concern is landlords. They treat it as a game and just smell profit. I would like to see a more European model, where landlords have to be more creative with small businesses. I also think the Government should put a freeze on business rates. They are crippling us.
"For us trade is no different over the last five years, but inflation has squeezed our margins as well as people getting stuff online. The area has also changed. I've been here for 40 years and there are hardly any families here any more - properties are bought up as investments and the owners live overseas."
Shailesh Patel, 50, owner of the Chelsea Food Fair convenience store says trade is 20 per cent down on last year.
"Lots of places have opened and shut almost straightaway in the last year. Soon the only places that will survive are restaurants and coffee shops."
The owner of Lloyds Pharmacy, Ebrahim Kharodia, 62, said: "We have been here for 23 years. Times are very tough. Even wealthy people are cutting back on non-essentials. The banking crisis had a real effect here because a lot of people lost their jobs.
"It's as bad as I can remember, but I will always fight to keep the business going. Our business rates were something like £36,000 this year. They've doubled and people just can't afford to pay it."