Although it appears that the number of shop vacancies in many areas of the UK has leveled off in the first half of this year, there is still one out of every three shops remaining vacant in many areas of the country. London has the lowest vacancy whilst the North of England appears to have the highest vacancy rates. Overall there are three times as many vacancies now as there were just four year ago.
Statistically, rates of shop vacancies have evened out at 14.5% but there is still a wide line of demarcation between the best performing towns and the worst performing towns. For example, Stockport is credited with the highest rate of vacancies at almost 28% whilst London is at the lowest with only 9% of shops vacant.
There are a number of reasons why things are not likely to change any time in the near future according to the Local Data Company that compiled these statistics. One of the factors is in the availability of alternative channels for a sales outlet, such as e-commerce. Another huge factor is the economy which has just seen a major recession and many are forecasting a double dip recession to add to the problem.
Matthew Hopkinson, the director of the Local Data Company states that there are simply too many shops of the wrong size in the wrong areas of the UK. There are still a great number of corrections which the market must undergo and the impact will vary considerably depending on which area of the country is in question.
Even so, the vacancy rate stands at 14.5% on average throughout the UK and even though it is holding steady at the moment there are fears that more and more shopkeepers will be vacating their shops in the coming months and years. The deciding factor will be how quickly the economy can stabilize, but analysts are guarded in their forecasts.