High street vacancies at record levels

first_imgThe rate of unoccupied outlets on Britain’s high streets rose to 11.3% in October – the highest level since records began.The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and research body Springboard have released the latest Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, highlighting the highest level of unoccupancy in high streets and shopping centres since July 2011. The worst hit areas of the country included Northern Ireland (20%), Wales (15.1%) and the north of England and Yorkshire (14.6%).Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said: “This new high in empty shop numbers really sets alarm bells ringing. It’s the worst vacancy rate since the survey began and confirms that financial challenges for both customers and retailers are far from over. “Many retailers are battling stagnating sales and rising costs, and next year’s threatened business rates increase can only make matters worse. If the government wants to breathe life back into our town centres and ensure the retail industry can play its full role in job creation, it needs to freeze rates in 2013.”He added that even though the rate of footfall for the three months to October was better than the 3.3% drop in the previous quarter, with an improvement in August driven by the Olympics, it weakened on the high street over the quarter with a 0.9% fall. Both out-of-town and shopping centre locations saw a slight increase in footfall during the same period at 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.“The figures follow a similar pattern to our retail sales monitoring,” added Robertson. “September’s cold snap drew the crowds stocking up on warmer clothing. But, while the Olympics appears to have brought people out onto high streets, that didn’t translate into a surge in spending.”Steve Booth, chief executive of Springboard, said: “There is no doubt that October had the most detrimental impact on retail footfall over the past quarter. Traditionally it is a difficult month for retailers, as school holidays are over and winter weather sets in. However, the year-on-year drop in high street footfall this October was significantly better than the drop a year earlier. “Furthermore, the quarterly figure has recovered significantly from the -5.5% decline reported in high streets during the previous quarter, when the UK experienced unseasonably wet weather. Though the pace has slowed, the continued decline in footfall could be a factor leading to the 0.4% increase in vacancy rates. Temporary lets over the festive season may positively affect this figure in November and December and the awareness of increasing vacancy rates has encouraged landlords to become more flexible to try and alleviate this issue, as the heavy rate burden is an ongoing concern for retailers.”last_img read more

Indonesian seafarer dies aboard Chinese vessel

first_imgThe Indonesian worker, identified as SA, reportedly died while the ship was sailing off the coast of Peru. The ship’s captain claimed it had been an accident. “I’m still trying to confirm the information as well as monitor the ship’s movement,” Ari said as quoted by kompas.id.Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah confirmed the news. “A a crew member from Indonesia was killed on the fishing ship Long Xin 629 on Aug. 11 in a workplace accident,” he said, adding that the Foreign Ministry would check the information with the Indonesian Embassy in Lima. A video appeared on Facebook in May showing a group of sailors on the Lu Qing Yuan Yu 623 throwing the body of an Indonesian sailor into the sea. Prior to that, there was public outrage over the death of four Indonesian sailors registered to another Chinese fishing ship.According to Destructive Fishing Watch data, 30 Indonesian crewmen were victims of alleged exploitation aboard Chinese fishing vessels between November 2019 and June, seven of whom have died while three others have gone missing. (dpk)Topics : An Indonesian crewmember of Chinese fishing ship Long Xing 629 has reportedly been killed in a workplace accident.The Indonesian Fishery Workers Union (SPPI) chairman in South Korea, Ari Purboyo, said he received news of the death on Tuesday morning from a former Lon Xing worker. last_img read more