One in seven British shops now lie empty – with North West among worst hit regions

The vacancy rate at high streets, retail parks and shopping centres has risen in the UK.

The Manc The Manc - 30th July 2021

One in seven shops now lie empty on British high streets, retail parks and shopping centres, according to newly-released figures.

In a report published today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Local Data Company, vacancies in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres across the country have risen to 14.5% in the second quarter – up from 14.1% in the first quarter.

Data also shows a continual series of increases over three years.

Figures also showed the worst-affected region was the North East – followed by Wales and the North West.

The North West is among the hardest-hit regions, according to new figures / Credit: Visit Manchester

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said the data came as “no surprise” given the rolling lockdowns of the past year.


She also warned there may be worse to come with the ‘business rates holiday’ reaching an end.

Brick-and-mortar retail outlets have also suffered due to an increase in online competition – and footfall numbers remain lower than many high streets and shopping centres had hoped for.


A number of well-known high street brands have closed as a result of the pandemic – including the likes of Debenhams and Topshop.

Featured Image – Workman | Geograph