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Shop occupancy rates improve despite cost-of-living crisis

30 Jan 2023

The number of shops lying vacant on British high streets fell during the final three months of 2022, despite pressure on both companies and consumers from the rising cost of living.
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Bike Europe has reported Halfords’ financial statement demonstrating that cycling sales have dropped to pre-covid levels.

18 Jan 2023

The article reports that, in 2021, Halfords saw its annual cycling sales double and stocks dry up. However, by the middle of 2022, it says, warning signs were appearing as inflation and supply... Read more…

Seaside town bucks the trend with indie retail thriving

16 Jan 2023

Weston-super-Mare seems to be one town in the UK bucking the national trend, with new shops opening and businesses reporting an increase in trade, according to a report by Bristol Live.
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Indie bookshop numbers hit 10-year high in 2022 defying tough retail climate

16 Jan 2023

The number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland climbed to a 10-year high in 2022, as the book trade defied the odds in an otherwise tough year for high street retailers.
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New King’s banknotes to enter circulation by mid-2024

12 Jan 2023

New banknotes featuring King Charles are to enter circulation by mid-2024. The King’s portrait will appear on four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20, and £50).... Read more…

Government scales back energy bill support for businesses

12 Jan 2023

The government has announced it is to scale back support for businesses and their energy bills after warning that the current level of help was too expensive.
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Sector expertise and user experience counts when it comes to retail finance

10 Jan 2023

With retail finance schemes remaining a preferable route for retailers to boost sales during recession than the financial hit required by heavy product discounting, the Association of Cycle... Read more…

Portugal becomes first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year

10 Jan 2023

Portugal has become the first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year, from 23% to 6%.
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One in three responds to Big Bike Revival to use bike for one in two journeys previously taken by car

9 Jan 2023

Cycling UK says that its Big Bike Revival programme, which encourages people to get unused bikes out of their garages and sheds and start using them for everyday trips, has led to a third of... Read more…

Busiest year yet for TfL’s cycle hire scheme

9 Jan 2023

Transport for London’s (TfL) cycle hire scheme saw more bikes hired during 2022 than any other year in the scheme’s history, with 11.5 million rentals across the year.
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Shop occupancy rates improve despite cost-of-living crisis

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

The number of shops lying vacant on British high streets fell during the final three months of 2022, despite pressure on both companies and consumers from the rising cost of living.

empty ship

Figures in a report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Local Data Company (LDC) showed the overall vacancy rate improving to 13.8%.

It marked a 0.1 percentage point improvement on the July-September period, the report showed.

The total was also 0.6 percentage points better than the same period last year and marked the fifth consecutive quarter of falling vacancy rates in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Despite government support, a swathe of chains and independent stores closed amid the public health restrictions.

A shift towards online shopping and staying at home during the pandemic was soon followed by a surge in costs following the reopening, with stores and hospitality struggling to recruit staff at the same time.

Costs tied to the reopening were exacerbated by energy-led inflation, which is still, industry says, claiming victims by the day as many struggle to pay their way at a time of depressed spending by consumers.

The report showed that Greater London, the South East and East of England had the lowest vacancy rates.

While the highest rates were in the North East, followed by Wales and the West Midlands.

The North East, however, was seeing the highest rates for store openings.

The study suggested this was being aided by a return of investment, supported by the return of people to offices and the repurposing of many abandoned sites.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive officer of the BRC, commented:

"The first half of 2023 will likely be yet another challenging time for retailers and their customers.

"There are few signs that retailers' input costs will ease, putting further pressure on margins, and making businesses think twice on how much investment to make.

"However, the situation should improve in the second half of the year, as inflationary pressures begin to ease and consumer confidence is expected to return."

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