Retail analyst the Local Data Company has reported that Britain’s vacancy rate has remained at 13.3% in November. The overall retail and leisure vacancy rate has also remained at 11.8%.
The Local Data Company director Matthew Hopkinson commented: “While the shop vacancy rate remained stable at 13.3% across the country, there were some changes of note. There was an above average take up of shops in the month, with 534 opening. We also saw some new stock coming onto the market, along with an increase in the number of properties demolished. This is encouraging as it shows that landlords and local authorities are responding to the new space requirements of total retail where bricks meet clicks.”
He continued: “New research that LDC has been undertaking on the persistence of vacancy shows that this is an even more significant sign of health of a location. Last week, a joint report from LDC and the University of Stirling on Scotland’s top 100 towns showed that of the vacant units in Scotland, 40% had been vacant for more than three years. If ever there was evidence of redundant stock then that is the one to pay attention to.”
He added: “Christmas is the time when one expects vacancy rates to be at their lowest but the recent events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are changing shopping behaviour dynamics in a dramatic way, and by way of caution I would say – be careful for what you wish for!”