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Rise in shop vacancies, BRC announces | 21 May 2013

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has announced that almost one in eight British shops lies empty, due to the number of high street brands being forced to close down.

According to sky.com, 11.9 per cent of the nation’s retail space is empty. Although bad news for the companies that previously vacated the commercial properties, it does bring good news for retailers hoping to expand their presence or launch their first outlet.

The rise in empty shops was accompanied by a rise in retail footfall, however, with sales in April demonstrating a one per cent year-on-year rise. The director general of the BRC, Helen Dickinson, commented on guardian.co.uk: “The unsettled weather at the start of the month seems to have created pent-up demand, which brought many of us out to shop when more spring-like weather finally made an appearance.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the strongest-performing region for retail was London, which experienced a 4.2 per cent increase in footfall. Plus, its number of vacant shops is just over four per cent lower than the national average – making there just enough commercial space for new retailers to move into, but not so much that the local economy will be negatively affected.

The lowest footfall drop of all seemed to be in Wales, where the number of people visiting bricks-and-mortar stories fell by only 2.1 per cent. Although out-of-town malls experienced a three per cent drop in footfall, as the number of sales across the UK appears to be rising slowly, this may soon turn around.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Qube Global Software. All facts are verified where possible directly by the author.

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