Number of empty shops reaches record high

Town centre vacancy rate now stands at 11.3 per cent, says the British Retail Consortium.
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The number of empty shops on the UK High Street have risen to a record high.

The town centre vacancy rate is now 11.3 per cent, claims the British Retail Consortium. This is the highest level since its survey began in July 2012.

Dan Wagner, Chairman and CEO of mPowa, said: "Consumers have become more demanding in the way they purchase goods than ever before. Sophisticated mobile handsets and tablets mean shoppers have a myriad of choices on how, what and when they buy. 

"The challenge for the retailer is to ensure that they have a variety of platforms which allow [customers] to purchase at the point when they are ready, wherever they might be. 

"Many retailers who have not got a comprehensive multichannel strategy are suffering severe consequences as result."

But Dan Thompson, author of Pop Up for Dummies, believes the rising number of empty stores means there's more room for pop up shops.

"More pop up shops are created in the run up to Christmas than at any other time of the year," read a statement promoting Thompson's book.

"Yet, with empty shops aplenty, this is a lost opportunity for artists, entrepreneurs and wannabe retailers since pop up shops could be everywhere all year round."

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