UK faces record vacancy rates in 2013 as administrations rise

Kasmira Jefford
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RECENT retail administrations could lead to a doubling of store closures on Britain’s high streets, according to a report from the Local Data Company (LDC).

The latest monthly figures from the LDC show that the shop vacancy rate decreased for a third month in a row by 0.06 per cent to 14.25 per cent in December 2012.

LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said the number of vacant shops declined slightly in December because of retailers using empty space to open pop up shops to attract shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

Despite the fall in vacancy rates last month, Hopkinson warned the number of vacant shops is likely to rise as the likes of Blockbuster, HMV and Jessops fall by the wayside. “In light of recent administrations and the number of distressed retailers being quoted I fear that we will see a rise in the number of vacant shops as we enter 2013,” he said.

The LDC said in 2013 as many as 1,400 stores will close as retailers scale back their estate and further brands fall into administration.