13 Jan 2014
The Local Data Company has announced that shop vacancy rates in the UK have improved significantly in recent months. December figures suggest that empty shopfronts accounted for just 13.9% of the high street, the first time since July 2010 that they have been below 14%.
Speaking for the Local Data Company, director Matthew Hopkinson said ‘December’s drop in the shop vacancy rate is very significant’, and indicated we may be seeing ‘the final stages in the significant rebalancing of our town centres to meet the needs of the modern consumer’.
In actual numbers, it is estimated that there are now 21,975 empty shops in the top 650 town centres.
This announcement coincides with a survey of British people indicating an increase in optimism on the economy.
Sunder Katawala, director of think tank British Future, reported that 29% of the 2,244 people asked were optimistic ‘for both the economy and the country as a whole’. This is up from 9% in the same survey last year, indicating that the UK recovery may be ready to take hold in 2014.