High Street showing ‘great resilience’

According to recent analysis conducted by accountancy firm Deloitte, the High Street was outperforming retail parks and shopping centres when it came to re-occupying empty shops.

Deloitte reviewed information from 27 major company administrations since 2009, to trace the fate of nearly 5,900 shops.  They found that nearly a third of these premises were never vacated.

New research suggests that about one in five High Street shops, affected by the biggest retail collapses of the last five years, is still vacant.

Deloitte concluded that the High Street was “showing great resilience.”

There are though some big regional differences.  For example, Greater London has a vacancy rate of 18%, whereas the north-west of England has a vacancy rate of 32%.

Deloitte found that the average vacancy rate for the High Street is 20%, but it rises to 29% for shopping centres and 37% for retail parks.

Hugo Clarke, the report’s author, said the High Street had recovered much better than expected.

“The results of this research are surprising and seem to challenge a number of myths around the state of the High Street,” he said.

“They would suggest that far from being dead, the High Street appears to be showing great resilience and a capacity for re-invention.

“It seems that a structural shift is taking place with the High Street emerging as an unexpected winner.”