Shop vacancy rate falls 0.5% in February as convenience stores and pop-up shops help fill empty premises

The shop vacancy rate has decreased to 13.6 per cent from 14.1 per cent a year ago, according to the Local Data Company.

The data, which shows information from over 500,000 premises such as betting shops, supermarkets and cafes, showed the overall shop vacancy rate fell 0.5 per cent to 12 per cent as growth in the convenience and pop-up sector helped fill empty shops.

The figures suggest that an improving recovery and widespread help for town centres is beginning to take effect.

“This is further positive news with regards the reoccupation of vacant units in our town centres. There has been a significant rise in incentives from councils, central government with business rates and more flexible occupation such as pop up shops, which is helping this take up,” commented Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company.

He added: “Whilst we are seeing more positive signs for consumers which ultimately determines the success of shops the real acid test in 2014 and 2015 will be what proportion of these newly occupied units stand the test of time as the Omni channel environment matures and the consumer becomes even more technologically enabled and empowered – only time will tell!”


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