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One-in-ten UK high street shops lying empty

November 19, 2016

business, news

In more gloomy news for high street retailers it’s been revealed that more than one in ten town centre shops are lying empty.

A shop holding a closing down sale

Image by "James Bowe" via flickr

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), which has been gathering data on empty shops in town centres since July 2015, announced that the latest vacancy rate of 11.3% was the highest they’ve seen.

There is rather significant variation throughout different regions of the UK. Northern Ireland is in the worst condition with 20% of its town centre shops empty, Wales came next with 15.1%. Greater London fared much better with only 7.6% sitting empty.

A large portion of the rise in vacancy has been attributed to the failure of a host of major retailers such as Comet, JJB Sports, Clinton Cards, Blacks Leisure, Game and Peacocks.

The depressing news comes hot on the heals figures showing that high street footfall fell significantly in the last quarter when compared with the same period last year. The figures showed a 3.9% drop during the August to October period.

It all seems to add up to worrying times for high street retailers who have been facing tough times with the recession and ever increasing competition from online retailers. Of course, the Christmas shopping period is now well underway and should give many retailers a very welcome respite from the doom and gloom of the latest figures.

What do you think can be done to help high street retailers? Leave a comment and let us know.

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