Over a third of high streets in the UK are either “degenerating” or “failing”, according to an annual retail report by Colliers International.

The report also warned that struggling towns are being caught up in a downward spiral, where retailers migrate to the best-performing areas, creating voids in high streets. Affected towns then struggle to generate funding for re-growth, and become dominated by pound stores and fast food chains.

While the report also shows that 25% of high streets were “thriving” the report claims this comes at the expense of poorer-quality locations. And the report offers little hope for speedy regeneration. Just 3% of towns are described as “improving”.

Average prime retail rent stands at £111 compared to £128 in 2008, a level last seen in 2003. And while the number of vacant stores has dropped to 9.7% compared to 11.4% in 2010, Colliers claim this figure has been skewed by short term lets and pop up shops.