The number of empty shops on UK high streets has risen to its highest level in six years as city centres, and especially London, suffer from a dive in visitor numbers.
Nearly 11% of shops remained vacant in July compared with 9.8% in January, with the number of empty premises rising in six out of 10 UK regions, according to retail analysis firm Springboard. Greater London suffered by far the worst blow, with empty shops increasing by nearly two-thirds.
The rise in shut-up shops comes as the number of visitors to large city centres continues to drop.High streets, including city centres, saw nearly 40% fewer visitors in August compared with the same month last year, according to Springboard.
“The reality of the new normal has already started to bite,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard. “This result brings into sharp focus the difficulties faced by large cities in attracting customers back and the impact of this on our bricks and mortar retail…