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.