February 10th, 2013. Ben Lloyd
Over 10 per cent of town centres still vacant
The high streets of the UK are still under occupied, with vacancy rates for the start of 2013 at 10.9 per cent. However, this still represents an improvement on the record high of 11.3 per cent seen in October last year.
In terms of footfall, the statistics are less encouraging, with the British Retail Consortium and Springboard Footfall reporting a 4.6 per cent drop in high street footfall between January 2012 and the same month this year. Footfall hasn’t seen such a dramatic decline year-on-year since last April, when figures fell by 6.9 per cent.
A spokeswoman for the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “It’s good news that the vacancy rate is slightly down on October 2012’s high. However, the UK average masks widespread variations, with Wales recording a particularly high rate when compared with the previous quarter.”
In a bid to halt this decline, the BRC believe that vacancy rates on the high street could be reduced if the government opted to freeze business rates for the month after next. It is feared that the rising costs of running a business is a constant threat to the security and future health of retailers.
Although the BRC are concerned by the figures, their worry is tempered by the fact that January was a particularly poor month for weather, whilst sales figures for the month have shown that a reduction in footfall did not correspond to a decrease in sales.
“Although the mid-month snow did take a toll on the number of people willing to brave the elements, particular with journeys to out-of-town retail parks, it seems many of us stayed one step ahead of the big chill and bought more on fewer shopping trips,” the spokeswoman added.
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Article By Ben Lloyd
February 10th, 2013
Ben is the Director and Co-Founder of the Pure Group and Managing Director of Pure Property Finance.
Following a career in Barclays, where Ben was in the real estate finance team for 8 years, he decided that the market needed a more forward-thinking type of commercial brokerage so founded Pure Commercial Finance (now Pure Property Finance), the first company within the Pure Group.
Ben has extensive experience across the real estate sector and has participated in over £2bn of real estate transactions during the course of his career.
Ben oversees the general strategy at Pure Group and works with the senior leadership team to drive the Group forward. Ben is also on the Executive Committee of FIBA.See more articles by Ben