Online shopping is changing the profile of Britain’s high streets as a traditional boost in the number of retailers moving into shops for the holiday season failed to materialise.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are influencing shopper behavior and luring more people online, according to the latest report from the Local Data Company.
Just over 13% of all shops in Britain are empty and the figure has been stable for some months.
However, 534 new shops opened in November, but although some new premises came to market, landlords also demolished several older properties.
The firm says analysis of vacancy rates by occupation type shows the leisure shop vacancy rate was 7.8% and the All (Retail & Leisure) vacancy rate was 11.8%.Neither changed from October.
“This is encouraging as it shows that landlords and local authorities are responding to the new space requirements of total retail,” said Matthew Hopkinson, director at The Local Data Company.
Hopkinson also explained that how long shops stay empty can depend on their location in a joint report between the firm and the University of Stirling.
“A survey of Scotland’s top 100 towns showed that of the 40% vacant units had stood empty for more than three years. If ever there was evidence of redundant stock then that is the one fact to pay attention to.”
Meanwhile, the latest Experian FootFall Retail Index for the week ending November 30, showed the number of shoppers in high streets and retail parks was up 11.9% – a 0.6% decrease on the same period last year.
“Overall Black Friday discounts had a massive impact on the figures,” said an Experian spokesman. “The all premises index was up for the year by 10.8% and the retail park index showed an increase of 29.4% on the year.”
Media reports showed hordes of shoppers fighting in the aisles of department stores and supermarkets for the best deals. In Manchester, police were called to bring order to warring shoppers.