A rising demand for retail property to be used for leisure and hospitality businesses has given “renewed optimism” for some UK high streets and shopping districts, according to industry experts.
The pressure from lockdown measures saw vacancy rates across shopping destinations hit record highs in the second quarter of 2021, with just over 14% of high street store locations remaining empty during the quarter.
Shopping centres fared even worse, with vacancy levels sitting just under 20%.
Vacancy rates began to level out in the third quarter however, following a surge in interest from firms outside of traditional retail.
The collapse of major brands such as Debenhams and Topshop owner Arcadia at the end of 2020 saw the number of empty sites soar, placing increasing pressure on landlords.
As a result, many property owners have become more flexible and are offering stronger rates in order to attract new brands and businesses.
Main image credit: via Retail Gazette