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High streets show "greater resilience"

Words: Huw Morris
A busy high street

Only one in five high street sites hit by the biggest retail collapses in the past five years is still empty.

New research unveiled by accountancy firm Deloitte shows the high street is showing "greater resilience " and is now outperforming retail parks and shopping centres. The average vacancy rate for the high street is 20 per cent but rises to 29 per cent for shopping centres and 37 per cent for retail parks.
Deloitte found discount and pound shops had taken over one in five of empty sites. Convenience stores, including those run by supermarkets, have also expanded on the high street.
Contrary to popular belief, Deloitte said, betting shops, cafes and charity shops hardly figure among post-administration occupiers.
Deloitte's head of retail Ian Geddes commented: "Historically, retailers have talked about 'destination' shopping locations. However, different and more cautious consumer spending patterns have joined forces with a technology-powered convenience culture which demands that goods and services are available as and where the consumer demands.
“Rather than taking shoppers away, the internet is pushing people back to shops with the growth of 'click and collect'. The evidence suggests that we may be entering a new era of 'en route' shopping, powered by mobile shopping and the demand for collection points strategically located at a point between where the consumer is travelling from and to.”