One in 10 shops on the high street will be empty by the end of next month, as retailers go into administration or dispose of stores in the economic downturn according to Experian.
Retail consultant Experian expects the UK vacancy rate on the high street to rise from 7% to 10% by the end of February, equating to 90,000 vacant shops.
Experian said this would rise to a vacancy rate of 15% or 135,000 stores empty by the end of the year.
Director of Experian Jonathan de Mello said that high streets in smaller market towns were likely to be worst affected.
“The unprecedented level of retail vacancy will be disproportionately spread across Britain, so that smaller retail destinations, in particular market towns across Britain, will be worse affected,” he said.
“The loss of major multiples such as Woolworths will leave a significant gap in these towns and is likely to have a knock on effect with other retailers.”