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Industry News

Published on August 12th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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Shop vacancy rate at four-year high as footfall declines

Information released by Springboard today shows the national town centre vacancy rate rose to 10.3% in July, the highest since January 2015, with sluggish sales growth and declining footfall contributing to the increase.

Footfall fell 1.9% during the month – the worst decline for July since 2012.

The number of High Street visitors fell by 2.7%, while Shopping Centres recorded a drop of 3.1%.  Retail Parks were the only shopping destination to record an uplift, rising by 1.2% against a decrease of 0.5% in the same month last year.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard Marketing and Insights Director, said consumer demand is evermore polarised between convenience and experience and the stronger performance of out-of-town destinations reflects the fact that retail parks are successfully bridging the gap.  

“They not only offer consumers accessible shopping environments with free parking and easy click & collect opportunities for online purchases, but many also combine this with an enhanced experience that includes coffee shops and casual dining restaurants, and some also have leisure facilities.  

“Indeed, the positive footfall result for out-of-town destinations in July, particularly the fact that footfall rose by 2.1% during daytime trading hours, demonstrates that if the offer is right consumers will spend.”

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