Following predictions of an increase in shop vacancies from research firm Experian, the British Retail Consortium has called on landlords and the Government to take action now to save at risk retailers.
The BRC is calling for four measures to ease the situation facing retailers, including:
-Retail rents to fall in line with market realities
-An immediate switch to monthly rent arrangements
-A total freeze on business rates
-A complete restoration of empty property rate relief
"Retailing is caught between falling sales and rising costs,” said BRC business director Jane Milne.
“Property is one of retailers' major costs and it has spiralled out of control as landlords and the Government cashed in on competition for prime sites during the boom times," Milne added.
140,000 shops are expected to become vacant by the end of 2009, although Experian told BikeBiz that bike dealers are not likely to be most at risk.