“The number of empty shops in town centres has reached its highest level since 2015, figures have shown.
The national vacancy rate was 10.3% in July, the highest since January 2015, according to the BRC (British Retail Consortium)-Springboard footfall and vacancies monitor.
Footfall also fell by 1.9% last month, marking the worst decline for July since 2012.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said retailers had faced a “challenging environment”.
“High streets and town centres play an important part in our local communities, and we should be concerned by the rise in empty store fronts,” she said.
The figures showed that high street footfall declined by 2.7% last month, while footfall at shopping centres fell by 3.1%. …”