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Shop vacancy rates drop for the second time in 2012

Shop vacancy rates in the UK decreased by 0.1% in November 2012, the second monthly reduction during 2012.

According to figures from the Local Data Company town centre vacancy rates in Britain fell back to 14.31%, down from 14.41% in November 2012.

Rates also dropped by 0.16% in October.

Matthew Hopkinson, chief executive of the Local Data Company, said this was “encouraging” - although acknowledged it was probably down to the temporary take-up of empty units in the run up to Christmas.

“2013 will be another very challenging year for the high street with online sales becoming even more significant with the rise of tablet and mobile users leading the charge,” he said.

“This will lead to further consolidation in retailer shop networks. Whilst December’s quarter rent day is a big milestone I believe that Q1 2013 will be the period to watch as retailers emerge from the busiest trading period.”      

The percentage of units occupied by independent retailers stayed the same at 68% of total space.

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