LDC’s latest bi-annual Retail and Leisure Trends Report (titled 'Turning Point') has revealed that the second quarter of 2017 saw the number of shop openings reduce by 84% compared to Q2 2016.
The impact of this slowdown in openings resulted in a net loss of 207 shops in the second quarter versus a net increase of 1,284 shops in the first quarter of the year. The net difference between these two periods is the biggest fall between any two consecutive quarters in the past five years.
Whilst the historical data illustrates volatility over time, between the number of openings and closures, the overall number has reduced significantly. The number of openings reduced from the 2012 quarterly average of 4,006 to 2,995 (-25%) in Q2 2017.
The openings and closures activity was reflected in the Shop Vacancy rate that started to rise in the second quarter of 2017. It rose in both May (+0.1%) and June (+0.1%) to 12.2%. While this is still significantly below the 2012 peak of 14.6%, it is twice as high as in Q4 2008 when the vacancy rate was still below 6%.