According to a new data, the first quarter of 2021 has witnessed a significant rise in the number of empty stores across the UK.
BRC-LDC Vacancy Monitor has said that the total GB vacancy rate has jumped by 14.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2021. That’s a marginal rise from 13.7 per cent during the same period last year.
The number is 1.9 percentage points higher than during the same time last year. However, what’s noteworthy is that it is the third successive year of increasing vacancy rates from Q1 2018.
And this time it’s not surprising!
Helen Dickinson, CEO, British Retail Consortium (BRC) substantiates further and says that the rise in vacancy rate hasn’t been surprising considering the forced closure of many stores in the first quarter of this year.
The BRC has estimated that since the pandemic hit the globe, there are 5,000 fewer stores now. In other words, 1 in 7 shops are now empty.
Helen also said that with full business rates relief and the moratorium on aggressive debt enforcement ending in England soon, many stores may not reopen at all.
In a statement to media, BRC said that devolved nations have already agreed to extend the business rates holiday until next year and England should consider doing the same.