According to figures from the Local Data Company (LDC), Britain’s vacancy rate remained at 13.0% in May. However, the overall retail and leisure vacancy rate increased from 11.6% in April to 11.7%.
Analysis of vacancy rates by occupation type shows that Shop vacancy in May was 13.0% (0.0%), Leisure vacancy was 8.14% (+0.10%), and All (Retail & Leisure) vacancy rate was 11.7%(+0.1%).
LDC director Matthew Hopkinson commented: “No dramatic changes to report with all the drama happening with deflation, retail prices and profitability. The overall vacancy rate remained stable in May but the one to focus on going forward is the Leisure (food and beverage premises) rate. This is a very fast growing market (+20% growth in restaurants alone in the last 5 years) and as such is heading towards saturation, cannibalisation and ultimately survival of the fittest.
“With so many chain operators expanding so rapidly we are seeing an impact on the independents but we are also seeing the sustainable offer peak in certain locations with the profitability of all not being sustainable. At some point therefore we are likely to see some distressed operators which will in turn result in closures and thus a possible increase in this vacancy rate.”