Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

‘Things aren’t as bad as they seem on the high street’

Matthew Hopkinson, Director of retail research business Local Data Company

The term ‘high street’ means different things to different people, but many take it to mean shopping centres and retail parks as well as the more traditional town centre connotation.

It is also one of the most used phrases with regards to the ‘death of the high street’. But when considering this issue it is important to look at the three retail types separately.

Vacancy rates appear to be stabilising - March saw a marginal increase of 0.02% to 14.14%, down from the peak of August and September last year, when they reached 14.6%.

But this number masks the underlying polarisation by region or type of retail centre.

Changes are being played out in the three categories. For example, nearly two thirds of town centres are below the national vacancy rate, as are 72% of retail parks.

Greater analysis generally shows that the locations above the national average have doggedly held this position while those below have shown improvements in their fortunes - suggesting things are perhaps not as bad as they seem.

Shopping centres, however, are the ones to watch, with an even 50% below the national average. As a result, this retail type has the greatest potential impact on the ‘high street’.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.