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Saturday 19th of February 2011
February 16, 2011    

National shop vacancies rise to record high

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by Kay Murchie

A new report has revealed the British High Street is suffering after shop vacancies rose to a record high in 2010.

According to the Local Data Company, the number of vacant shops in Britain increased to 14.5% at the end of last year, up from 12% at the end of 2009 and compares with 5% at the end of 2008.

However, the biggest increase was noted in the north and the midlands with the vacancy rate above the national average at 16.5%.

The figures suggest Britain’s retailers continue to struggle in the aftermath of the recession and is now faced with new challenges including consumers reining in their spending amid soaring inflation and economic uncertainty.

Commenting on the findings, Matthew Hopkinson said: “The sad reality is that the number of vacant shops are increasing with certain areas of the country severely impacted and unlikely to recover.”

However, the report highlights that consumer habits have changed and online retail sales have surged recently - particularly in December due to adverse weather conditions - preventing people from getting to the High Street.

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Tags: , , consumer habits, , Local Data Company, online sales, , , , vacany rates

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