Vacancy stablises at 14.6%


Vacancy rates across Britain’s towns stabilised at 14.6% last month, according to the latest figures from the Local Data Company.


The percentage of empty shops across the country had hovered at around 14.3% during the second half of 2011 but then rose to 14.5% in January and 14.6% in February.


LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said: “March’s figure is encouraging in that it did not rise, but the fact that it did not drop as it did for the same month in 2011 shows that the number is reflecting structural change and not ‘seasonal’ factors.


“Retailers continue to suffer from a lack of consumer spend, and multiple retailers are reducing their store portfolios. Game’s administration in March, and more recently Aquascutum’s, show the extremes in the impacts happening.”


LDC’s data is based on visits to more than 2,700 town centres, cities, retail parks and shopping centres across the country.