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Retail administrations could lead to all-time high vacancy rate

Recent retail administrations could lead to a record number of store closures on Britain’s high streets, according to a report from the Local Data Company (LDC).

The LDC estimates that administrations which have included footwear business Stead and Simpson in December, as well as non-fashion retailers including HMV and Jessops, could lead to as many as 1,400 store closures in the UK.

The South East is likely to be the country’s worst hit region with 23.7% of the affected stores located there while the North East will fare best with just 3.5%of stores based in that area.

Some 53 towns in the UK are home to at least two or more of the impacted retailers while 11 retail parks or shopping centres including Bluewater in Kent and the Metro Centre in Gateshead house three of the affected businesses.

“The administration and potential closure of over 1,400 stores in less than a month far surpasses Woolworths’ 807 [stores] in January 2009,” said Matthew Hopkinson, director at the LDC.

“This has the potential to increase the national shop vacancy rate by nearly 5% to an all-time high of over 19% if all the stores close and are not reoccupied.”

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