The latest report by the Wales Institute of Economic and Social Research Data and Methods (WISERD) and LDC looks at the general health and emerging trends in retail across Welsh towns and cities in 2016. The report is presented in three sections focusing in turn on retail premises (and associated leisure sector), retail vacancy and retail structure.
One of the main takeaways of the report is the continued decline in vacancy rate this past year across Wales and the emergence of diversification, with a decline in retail businesses and an increase in service and leisure provision. Wales' towns are a key component of national identity, attractiveness and prosperity.
Matthew Hopkinson, Director at LDC, commented: "What is encouraging is that shop vacancy in Wales has declined (improved) for the past three years, although the rate of improvement is slowing. [...] Major urban regeneration/redevelopment projects such as Friars Walk shopping centre in Newport can demonstrate that concerted efforts at revival can be successful, but can increase vacancy rates in areas surrounding the new scheme. It is for this reason that it might not be to everyone's advantage, espcially independent retailers, when anchor stores move into a scheme."
We've produced an infographic which explores some of the key findings from our recent Welsh report here: