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Pop-ups keep shop vacancy rates down in December

Shop vacancy rates in the UK dropped 0.2% to 13.2% in December, while the overall retail and leisure vacancy rate remained at 11.8%, according to The Local Data Company.

“The decline in the shop vacancy rate is as a result of temporary lets and pop-up shops during the Christmas period,” said LDC director Matthew Hopkinson.

“The acid test will be to see how these numbers adjust in January and the impact of the administrations and closures of Bank and USC - let alone the supermarket closures that have been announced for 2015.”

Hopkinson said vacancy rates could fall further from the peak of 14.6% in 2012 due to low inflation and an upturn in wage growth, as well as the trend towards click-and-collect.

“A promising year lies ahead in that 2014 showed the symbiotic relationship between bricks and clicks, and that physical shopping and collection is alive and well,” he said.

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