Towns such as Holyhead and Milford Haven in Wales and Chelmsley Wood in the West Midlands will be hit by a wave of empty shops as more and more retailers go into administration.
The latest statistics for how many empty shops will appear on the UK high street has been revealed by researcher Experian today.
Experian predicts Holyhead and Milford Haven in Wales will have the highest vacancy rates by February this year, and Beckton in east London will see vacancy rates rising from 11% to 37% this year (see table).
Milford Haven already has a vacancy rate of 30%, while Chelmsley Wood in the West Midlands has 28% of its shops empty and both will see further declines.
Experian’s research excludes retail parks where it expects to see vacancies of more than 70% at some retail parks due to the loss of MFI and Land of Leather as well as the loss of SCS, Ilva and other retailers earlier in the year.
Jonathan De Mello, director of property consultancy at Experian, said: ‘It is clear that for a variety of reasons – likely demographics, market size or presence of strong competing centres – these centres have seen a lack of retail investment for some time.
'This situation can only get worse in the current climate, with the increasing volume of administrations catalysing their decline.
'The local authorities that contain these centres will need to work hard to turn the fortunes of these towns around, in terms of marketing and promoting these towns as viable retail locations going forwards.’