TOWN CENTRE SHOP CLOSURES RISE

Scotland’s town centre shop vacancy rate rose to 9.2 per cent last month, up from 7.5 per cent in July. And footfall fell by 0.1 per cent year-on-year in Scotland, though ahead of the twelve-month average of -1.4 per cent.

Says Scottish Retail Consortium Director David Lonsdale, “Shopper footfall in Scotland eased down a touch last month, and for a second successive month in a row.

“Meanwhile online retailing and click and collect services continue to grow in popularity with consumers.

“The spike in the shop vacancy rate is a cause for concern. The increase in the number of empty shops in our town centres is an unwelcome reminder of the heavy burden of property costs.

“If property costs in general, and business rates in particular, continue to escalate, we should all be concerned about the likely investment-sapping impact on our local communities up and down the country”.

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