Pattern of Retail Vacancy Flattening Out

I find its always useful to keep a keen eye on the various reports that show retail market trends.

One piece I saw in the last few days was the March report of the Local Data Company which gives a monthly barometer on shop vacancies.

Whilst I am busy leasing and selling retail property, the pattern of vacancy is extremely relevant in advising clients on disposal and acquisition strategies.

The report said town centre vacancy rates in Great Britain stabilised at 14.3% during the second half of 2011 but then rose to 14.5% in January 2012, 14.6% in February but now March has seen them remain at 14.6%.

Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, commented:

“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 that there are still troubles affecting occupiers.

The Local Data Company draws their data from a cross section of towns and cities, including the top 650 town centres, looking at retail centres, retail parks and shopping centres.

Our experience is that whilst some locations are certainly in the doldrums there are still plenty of locations where any availability can be a great focus for new retail presence.

For advice in relation to retail property, contact Matthew on 0121 455 9455 or email

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