Britain’s shop vacancy rate fell to 13.2% in December, while the overall retail and leisure vacancy rate remained at 11.8%, according to the latest figures from The Local Data Company.
Analysis of vacancy rates by occupation type shows that the shop vacancy rate in December was 13.2% (-0.1%), leisure vacancy was 7.8% (0.0%), and all (retail & leisure) vacancy rate was 11.8% (0.0%).
Matthew Hopkinson, director at The Local Data Company, commented: “December’s vacancy figures, whilst showing a marginal decline in empty shops, are not showing any significant movement. The decline in the shop vacancy rate is as a result of temporary lets and pop-up shops during the Christmas period. The acid test will be to see how these numbers adjust in January and the impact of the administrations and closures of Bank and USC, let alone the supermarket closures that have been announced for 2015.
“A promising year lies ahead, in that 2014 showed the symbiotic relationship between bricks and clicks, and that physical shopping and collection is alive and well. With low inflation and an uptick in wage growth, then 2015 has the potential to see the vacancy rate fall further from its peak of 14.6% in 2012.”