Large percentage of shops affected by administration still remain vacant – Deloitte

SOME 29% of shops affected by 27 high profile administrations since 2009 are still vacant in the West Midlands, according to new research from Deloitte, the business advisory and accountancy firm.
Using Local Data Company (LDC) data on nearly 5,900 shops, Deloitte’s analysis shows that nationally, the High Street (20%) is far outperforming retail parks (37%) and shopping centres (29%), for space formerly occupied by these retailers.
In the West Midlands, approximately 41% of affected shops have now been re-let to new occupiers.

Nationally, discount stores account for nearly one in five of all re-lettings of shops vacated as a result of administrations in the study. Indeed, the shops acquired by discounters as a result of these administrations account for nearly 50% of the expansion in this sector since 2008. 

Convenience stores have also expanded strongly, accounting for nearly 12% of space acquired post-administration. This pattern suggests a change in shopping habits inspired by the recession and mobile commerce, as the major supermarkets move the battleground in their “race for space” to the High Street.
Jane Whitlock, consumer business partner at Deloitte in the West Midlands, said: “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.”
However, charity shops, pawnbrokers and bookmakers showed limited interest in acquiring the shops in the study. According to the data, just 3% of shops post-administration have been occupied by charity shops and less than 0.01% have been turned into pawnbrokers or bookmakers.
Whitlock added: “It is likely that the rate of expansion by bookmakers may not be as aggressive as widely believed, with new openings often offset by closures. The growth in online and mobile gambling would appear to make any substantial long term growth in overall betting shop numbers unlikely.”