Britain’s shop vacancy rate remained at 13% in April – unchanged from a rate of 13% in March, according to the latest research released by the Local Data Company (LDC).
The overall retail and leisure vacancy rate also remained the same too. Analysis of vacancy rates by occupation type shows that shop vacancy was 13% (0.0%), leisure vacancy was 8.4% (+0.1%), and all (retail & leisure) vacancy rate was 11.6% (0.0%).
LDC director Matthew Hopkinson commented: “Nothing of note to report in April with regards vacancy rates except ‘steady as she goes’. An ongoing trend which is encouraging is that we are continuing to see retail and leisure premises that have been vacant being demolished, redeveloped or having a change of use. Over 60 premises were changed in this way during April – small to the overall stock, but it shows proactive place management in my view.”
He added: “A report published this week shows that it is still a challenging task to reduce vacancy rates, as the Phones4U portfolio of shops shows, with 60% still lying empty in April. A question for the future, based on what we’ve seen happen to date, is: what is the new norm for locations when it comes to vacancy rates and, if high, then what is an acceptable level post possible intervention?”
LDC visits over 2,700 towns and cities, retail parks and shopping centres. Each premises is visited and its occupancy status recorded as occupied, vacant or demolished. Vacant units are those units that did not possess a trading business at that location on the day visited. The shop vacancy index is based on the shop vacancy rates of the top 650 town centres.