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Shop vacancy rates lowest in five years

Shop vacancy rates across the UK fell to the lowest levels since 2010 in March, dipping to 13% from 13.1% in February.

The retail and leisure vacancy rate dropped to 11.6% in March from 11.7% the month before, according to The Local Data Company.

LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said: “These numbers are encouraging and reflect the wider positive news on consumer sentiment and spend. These numbers were last seen back in 2010, so it is a cause for celebration.

“While one should not underestimate the challenges retailers face with price deflation and a very savvy consumer, we are continuing to see the growth of food and beverage outlets on our high streets, which will occupy vacant shops when planning allows.”

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