Empty shops and falling footfall making retailing tougher

24 August 2011

The British Retail Consortium have published figures that has shown a fall of 1% in the number of shoppers on the streets in the last year.  This comes as no real surprise as high street retailers have been suffering.  But the footfall figures are broken down by region that shows some interesting trends.

Wales, has seen a footfall fall of 9.2%. The West Midlands has shown a 6.6% fall. However, London has seen an increase of footfall by 1.6%, while Scotland has had a rise of 0.2%.

The number of shops empty does not look good either with almost one in 10 shop premises empty.

The overall vacancy rate stands at 11.2% with Northern Ireland experiencing a terrible 17.1% vacancy rate, Wales looks bad as well with 13.4% and the north of England has 13.1%.

The problem with vacant shops is once a parade starts looking empty no shoppers go there and the rest suffer.  In shopping centres this can be more easily managed over time by relocating tenants but on the streets this is simply not the case

Remember our page on Retail Rescue that shows how you can close down underperforming stores and take action to save your business.