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Scottish high street shop closures continue to rise

Category: Scotland Business News — Gary Cain on February 8, 2012

Recently announced figures have reported another increase in shop closures throughout the UK, with an average vacancy rate of 14.3%.

In Scotland though, the picture is above the national average, where vacancy rates have hit 15.4% according to the latest Local Data Company findings.

This is better than many other parts of the country though. In Wales for example, vacancy rates have reached 17%, whilst in some parts of England things are even bleaker; Stockport in Greater Manchester seeing vacancies topping 30% for example.

The main reason for such a slump is the fall in retail sales values. Further new data, this time released by the British Retail Consortium, shows that UK sales values have dropped by 0.3%.

Another major contributing factor for the high street slump is that far more spending is now done online. In 2000, online sales were just 5.1% of the total retail figure. In 2011, this had doubled to 10.2%. More money is also being directed to out of town shopping centres.

The figures do show that companies making the right decisions can still thrive though; partly the reasoning why many companies across all business sectors are looking at new ways to secure cash flow, with invoice factoring being particularly popular.

Despite consumer accessibility being on the rise though, it would be too early to write the obituary for the UK high street.

There are many initiatives in place to tackle the problem, notably a campaign being run by Mary Portas and local towns and cities producing their own currencies, with Bristol in the south west of England being the latest to try such a venture.

'Disclaimer: The information contained in these articles is of a general nature and no assurance of accuracy can be given. It is not a substitute for specific professional advice in your own circumstances. No action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a consequence of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

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