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30 Jan 2023

The number of shops lying vacant on British high streets fell during the final three months of 2022, despite pressure on both companies and consumers from the rising cost of living.

26 Jan 2023

The rapid growth in the use of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services risks becoming the UK's next 'credit trap' scandal, a loan provider has warned.

25 Jan 2023

Under the banner of CONEBI, the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry,15 national bicycle industry associations and 68 companies have become signatories to a self-commitment to prevent...

23 Jan 2023

As Glasgow gears up to host the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, community groups have been given a share of more than £160,000 to boost bike use in the city.

23 Jan 2023

British Cycling has published new research, which shows the rising popularity of off-road e-bikes and electric mountain bikes (e-MTB’s) and highlights the need for improvements to cycling...

18 Jan 2023

The article reports that, in 2021, Halfords saw its annual cycling sales double and stocks dry up. However, by the middle of 2022, it says, warning signs were appearing as inflation and supply...

16 Jan 2023

Weston-super-Mare seems to be one town in the UK bucking the national trend, with new shops opening and businesses reporting an increase in trade, according to a report by Bristol Live.

12 Jan 2023

New banknotes featuring King Charles are to enter circulation by mid-2024. The King’s portrait will appear on four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20, and £50)....

12 Jan 2023

The government has announced it is to scale back support for businesses and their energy bills after warning that the current level of help was too expensive.

10 Jan 2023

With retail finance schemes remaining a preferable route for retailers to boost sales during recession than the financial hit required by heavy product discounting, the Association of Cycle...

Shop occupancy rates improve despite cost-of-living crisis

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

The number of shops lying vacant on British high streets fell during the final three months of 2022, despite pressure on both companies and consumers from the rising cost of living.

empty ship

Figures in a report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Local Data Company (LDC) showed the overall vacancy rate improving to 13.8%.

It marked a 0.1 percentage point improvement on the July-September period, the report showed.

The total was also 0.6 percentage points better than the same period last year and marked the fifth consecutive quarter of falling vacancy rates in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Despite government support, a swathe of chains and independent stores closed amid the public health restrictions.

A shift towards online shopping and staying at home during the pandemic was soon followed by a surge in costs following the reopening, with stores and hospitality struggling to recruit staff at the same time.

Costs tied to the reopening were exacerbated by energy-led inflation, which is still, industry says, claiming victims by the day as many struggle to pay their way at a time of depressed spending by consumers.

The report showed that Greater London, the South East and East of England had the lowest vacancy rates.

While the highest rates were in the North East, followed by Wales and the West Midlands.

The North East, however, was seeing the highest rates for store openings.

The study suggested this was being aided by a return of investment, supported by the return of people to offices and the repurposing of many abandoned sites.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive officer of the BRC, commented:

"The first half of 2023 will likely be yet another challenging time for retailers and their customers.

"There are few signs that retailers' input costs will ease, putting further pressure on margins, and making businesses think twice on how much investment to make.

"However, the situation should improve in the second half of the year, as inflationary pressures begin to ease and consumer confidence is expected to return."

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