Quarter of high streets 'failing'
Friday 17 June 2011
Almost a quarter of high streets in the UK are failing, it was reported today, as a gap grows between the best and worst town centres.
Empty shops have triggered a downward spiral on high streets in 83 out of 365 towns, according to a survey by property consultants Colliers International.
Towns on the list include Bootle in Merseyside, Dunstable in Bedfordshire, and Walsall in the West Midlands.
Elsewhere, another 42 of the retail centres surveyed are deemed to be degenerating, such as Grimsby in Lincolnshire, Dartford in Kent, and London's Walworth Road, while more than a third are categorised as stable, the Financial Times said.
The high street is one of the most evident victims of a consumer spending squeeze triggered by high inflation and muted wage growth, as well as fears over the economic recovery.
The survey, which is due to be published next week, comes after official figures revealed an unexpected 1.4% plunge in retail sales volumes in May.
Paul Moody, head of retail agency at Colliers, told the FT: "In most cases it is worse in the towns we monitored than it was last year.
"Retailers are migrating to the best-performing areas. Once you have rents falling and voids starting to grow in certain towns, it becomes a downward spiral."
Colliers warned these "terminal towns" would struggle to find public or private finance to spur future growth and were becoming dominated by pound stores and fast-food chains.
Shoppers are being drawn to out-of-town shopping centres and supermarkets in pursuit of a more affordable deal, Colliers found.
More than a quarter of towns are "thriving", Colliers said, including market towns with loyal catchments or those with buoyant tourist demand, such as Brighton, Stratford-upon-Avon and Harrogate.
But just 3% are designated as "improving", including Barnsley, Ealing and Maidenhead, suggesting the number of thriving towns is unlikely to grow.
Retail rents increased in a greater proportion of towns than in the previous survey - 13% in 2010 compared with 9% in 2009.
Colliers' analysis is based on historic and future indicators, including retail rents and vacancies, population growth or decline and employment prospects.
The number of vacant stores has fallen from 11.4% to 9.7%, according to Colliers, but the figure was skewed by quick-fix solutions such as pop-up shops and short-term lettings.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...