10% of Scots shops vacant

WHILE sales were up in Scotland other aspects of High Street life were bleak. Footfall was down 4.6% on last year, and one in 10 town centre properties are empty.
The Scottish Retail Consortium reckons cold weather didn’t help. “The signs are that people planned well ahead for the bad weather,” said director Fiona Moriarty, “and condensed shopping into fewer trips.
“It’s not so easy to find a chink of light in the vacancy rate. If the Scottish Government wants to stem the tide of closures, it should tackle the rising costs of doing business on our high streets. Failure to act on business rates means that retailers will be facing an extra £20m in tax. This comes on the back of a cut in Empty Property Rates Relief, while some supermarkets in Scotland face a rates bill 28% higher than the same stores south of the border.”