Shop vacancy rates in the UK reached their lowest level since July 2010 (13.9 per cent) while the North/South divide continued to widen, according to the Local Data Company (LDC.)
The North West and North East showed vacancy rates rises on 2012 with a total average of 17 per cent - five per cent above the 12.2 per cent national average.
Vacancy rates in the South West, East Midlands, London, West Midlands, Yorkshire & The Humber all improved while the North East, North West and the East of England have all worsened in 2013.
“There is a significant and growing divide between the north of the country and the south. In addition, we are seeing greater concentration of the best retail and leisure destinations in fewer centres, be they large out of town ‘shopping parks’ or the increasing number of ‘mega malls,’” commented Matthew Hopkinson, director at the LDC.
Wales has the highest national vacancy rate, while Scotland showed the most improvement. The worst performing region remains the North West at 17.3 per cent.