You’ll find the latest news, opinions, market analysis and company updates here. We update the blog on a weekly basis and you can use the navigation on the right hand side to discover new and related blog posts

UK Retail – facts, measurements and viewpoints.

10 November 2014 by Local Data Company

British Government figures from 2012 show that UK wholesale and retail trade contributed 16% of economic output and 16% (4.3 million people) of employment. More up to date data from April 2014 shows that consumers in the UK spent around £27 billion and of every £1 spent (online or in shops but excluding petrol stations) £0.47 was spent in food stores and £0.46 was spent in non-food stores with the remainder spent in market stores.

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More Independent shops open in H1 2014 than at any time since 2011

16 October 2014 by Local Data Company
This week we published some analysis on the health of the independent shops sector. It shows that traditional independent shops and leisure outlets continue to increase in Britain’s town centres whilst the chains continue to retreat. Contrary to popular belief independent high street businesses have continued to grow every year since 2009 albeit in smaller numbers as the years have passed.
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Britain’s shop vacancy rate in August falls to its lowest level since June 2010

05 September 2014 by Local Data Company


Britain’s vacancy rate fell in August to 13.3% from 13.4% in July. This is its lowest level since June 2010.

The overall retail and leisure vacancy rate also decreased from 11.9% to 11.8% 

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GB Shop Vacancy Rate- June

04 July 2014 by Local Data Company

Britain’s shop vacancy rate in June remains stable at its lowest level since June 2010. 

Britain’s shop vacancy rate has remained stable at 13.4% in June. The picture remains stable across both retail and leisure uses which is reflected in the overall vacancy rate remaining at 11.9% in June.

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Are our vacant shops filling up?

05 June 2014 by Local Data Company

LDC publishes today its latest national vacancy rates from May 2014. The simple answer is that the last six months have seen a progressive improvement in the shop vacancy rate for Great Britain. This is significant, as we have not seen such a prolonged period of consistent reduction in the number of empty shops in our town centres.

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Fashion from a consumer point of view and the relationship between bricks and clicks!

08 May 2014 by Local Data Company

The fashion industry is worth £26billion to the UK's economy, which is an increase of 22% since 2009 (British Fashion Council) but what is driving the increase in profit? According to research by Oxford Economics the number of jobs in the industry is down by 2.4% since 4 years ago, but with an increase in wholesale production as well as other factors such as tourism and financial services playing a part, the fashion industry is still booming. 

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We are running out of bricks so we must be out of recession?

06 May 2014 by Local Data Company

Deidre Hipwell in The Times recently wrote (27 March 2014) ‘The making of bricks in Britain has fallen so steeply that the country has the equivalent of only about two months’ of supply in stock, an industry leader has warned.’

The head of Michelmersh Brick Holdings said that a “difficult five years” meant that brick stock levels had fallen from 1.1 billion bricks to 332 million, adding that “you can’t just switch that production back on overnight”.

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The comings and goings of our shopping and leisure destinations!

28 March 2014 by Local Data Company

Time flies and so I have to apologise for not getting this to you all quicker. You may or may not have seen that we published some data around openings and closures of retail and leisure businesses across Great Britain in 2013. We looked at chain retailers in partnership with PwC and then we looked at Independents with BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association). We then wrapped it all together with a summit courtesy of Hogan Lovells in London where we had an excellent chairman in Damian Wild, editor of Estates Gazette along with a panel of experts – Mathew Ditchburn from Hogan Lovells, Michael Weedon from BIRA, Jonathan Reynolds from University of Oxford and Simon Danczuk the MP for Rochdale. Details of what they said and a summary can be found on the LDC website

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Business rates - tax or subsidy?

04 March 2014 by Local Data Company

This week has seen another report on our high streets, this one from Ken Shuttleworth (The Gherkin architect) and others along with the BIS Select Committee stating that business rates are ‘not fit for purpose and need a complete overhaul’. This follows on from other reports of which the Grimsey Review, through solid evidence based research, in its 12th recommendation stated ‘The business rates system needs a root and branch review to establish a flexible system that will reflect changes in economic conditions as they occur’. The facts as detailed in the Grimsey Review are as follows;

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Dublin, Academia and Data!

04 February 2014 by Local Data Company

I had the pleasure last week to be asked to speak to the Masters course at the Dublin Institute of Technology (, which is home to Ireland’s main business school. I spoke about Britain’s retail economy and places looking at the structural changes taking place and the drivers behind these changes.

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