Britain’s shop vacancy rate has fallen to 12.9 percent in September, which is the lowest level since April 2010, according to new figures released by the Local Data Company.

The figures also revealed that town vacancy rates also dropped by 0.1 percent in September, with Wales and the West Midlands improving by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively, while the shopping centre vacancy rate also fell by 0.2 percent to 14.6 percent, compared to August, with the biggest region to see a drop being the North West.

Retail parks also saw a decline in the vacancy rate, with a 0.1 percent drop when compared to the previous month.

Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “Clearly this is very good news that vacancy rates are at their lowest level for over five years. There are a number of reasons for this and these will vary by specific location but ultimately consumers have more money in their pockets as a result of wages being higher than inflation, employment levels are improving and there is greater focus on the living wage as well as zero hours contracts.

Hopkinson added: “Whilst we are seeing certain business types expanding it is not across the board and what the data is showing is that over 400 shops last month were removed from the overall stock as a result of change of use, demolition or redevelopment. This is good news as it shows that structural change requires big decisions and regeneration of places through uses other than shops.”

 

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