Fewer shops now vacant

  • Scottish shopping centres worst hit in Britain

  • Dundee and Brechin lead empty space charts

LESS of Scotland’s town centre retail and leisure units were lying empty at the end of 2016 than four years earlier, says the Local Data Company.

Professor Leigh Sparks: “Cities are leading the way and identifying the appropriate mix of retail and leisure that may play a role in retaining footfall across cities and towns.”

In its latest report, compiled with the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, LDC reveals that the national vacancy rate of these units had fallen to 11.7% from 13% in 2012.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the figure has dropped.
The report also reveals that while retail park vacancy for the whole of the GB has fallen, Scotland has the highest rate, remaining at 7.8%.
Scottish shopping centres have the highest vacancy rates across the country at 16.9% but this is a decrease from 17.6% last year.
At its height in 2013 Scottish shopping centre vacancy stood at 18.8%.
Among Scotland’s cities, Dundee has the highest vacancy rate at 22% and Brechin has the highest vacancy rate for a Scottish town at 24%.
Inverness was the only Scottish city to not experience an increase in its vacancy rate, with a drop of 2.9%.
Longniddry in East Lothian has the lowest vacancy rate at 0% while East Kilbride, with a reduction of 16% in its vacant units, recorded the biggest improvement.
Professor Leigh Sparks, Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, said: “Since 2013, Scottish ‘all vacancy’ has reduced from 12.4% to 11.7%. This is reflective of broad economic changes as well as local restructuring within cities and towns.”