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Shop vacancy rates back up to highest recorded level

Shop vacancy rates increased by a marginal 0.05% in June, edging back up to the highest recorded level.

According to the Local Data Company town centre vacancy rates in Great Britain rose to 14.6%, up from 14.5% in May.

However Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said this rise in shop vacancy should not be considered as a negative change due to the adjustment being just 0.05%. He added that this shows stability in unstable times.

Hopkinson said: “Recent weak reports on the economy and retail sales figures show that the pressure remains on shops up and down the country. Whilst the Olympics will bring a boost for London and the South East, the same cannot be said for other parts of the country. The number of empty shops in the top 650 town centres currently stands in excess of 23,000.”

Vacant units, according to the report, are classified as those units, which did not possess a trading business at that location on the day it was visited by the Local Data Company.

The shop vacancy index is based on the shop vacancy rates of the top 650 town centres in the UK.

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