Shop Vacancy Rate drops again in May

Posted on 12 June, 2014 by Kirsten Kennedy

But regional variations persist

With the latest data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showing a positive upturn in non-food sales, many retailers are taking advantage of this improved consumer confidence to expand their operations and move into new regional markets. This has had a positive impact upon nationwide shop vacancy rates, with May bringing a further dip of 0.1 per cent.

Shop-Vacancy-Rate-drops-again-in-May

According to the information gathered by the Local Data Company (LDC), the drop to 13.4 per cent is significantly better than the 14.1 per cent recorded by the monitor this time last year. However, it is yet to fall to pre-recession levels, which prior to the financial crash remained consistently stable at 5.5 per cent.

As the LDC gathers data from over half a million retail outlets in 2,700 locations throughout the country, the figures indicate that wide regional variations remain in the retail property market. London, for example, is currently enjoying a very low shop vacancy rate due to increasingly high demand from international retailers, while the North East and Northern Ireland continue to lag behind.

As a a result, LDC director Matthew Hopkinson urges an element of caution, although he does concede that the economic forecast for retailers finally seems to be improving.

He says; “The improving vacancy rate reflects a more positive economic outlook for consumers in terms of price deflation, wage increases and continued interest rates at an all-time low.

“These factors are highly volatile so it would be wrong to call the market on vacancy rates as much can change in a short space of time as history shows!”

Yet while the situation may be improving, for now at least, there still remain many high streets, shopping centres and out of town retail parks failing to turn a profit – largely as a result of split consumer loyalties between commercial property establishments and online e-tailers. This is one reason why chief executive of property investment firm British Land, Chris Grigg, voiced the opinion last week that around 25 per cent of all retail property is “technically obsolete”.

The issue, he believes, is a lack of diversity in modern retail developments, which simply cannot compete with the scope of online marketplaces. And while some investors and developers have taken steps to combat this by introducing leisure facilities to retail developments, he believes there is much further to go in order to revolutionise retailing for the 21st century.

He said; “These developments are going to have to shrink down so they have got a much clearer purpose through a combination of stores, more residential, more mixed use.

“But it is a very painful process.”




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Recent Posts

The latest property data has identified Newquay as the fastest property seller’s market in the UK

Investing in your garden can increase your property’s value

French Riviera temping high-end homebuyers

How can the ownership rights of my commercial property impact a business sale?

Should I incorporate virtual property viewings permanently?

Investment expected to increase across Asia-Pacific in 2021

UK property industry slows as the conclusion of tax break looms

BNP Paribas cautioned investors on Friday as debt-trading bonanza that increased its earnings this past year

Over 300,000 property purchases fell through in 2020 – we show the most frequent motives and the best way to get your house sale back on track

House Prices in the Capital Surpass £500,000

Optimism from the Bank of England’s chief economist

The most expensive commercial properties.

Businesses operating from shared premises will miss out on grants

BA cuts 12,000 jobs, unions hit back

Media Streaming Service See Record Subscriptions

Covid-19 Causes Millions To Claim UK Furlough Scheme