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Page last updated at 08:59 GMT, Tuesday, 4 September 2012 09:59 UK

One in seven UK shops 'vacant'


Figures released this morning appear to show the Olympics failed to deliver an expected boost to retailers. Shop sales were down 0.4 per cent in August compared with the same period last year. A report from Local Data Company also shows nearly one in seven British shops remained vacant at the end of June as retailers struggled in a double-dip recession.

In Nottingham, a third of city centre shops are empty. Caroline Jackson, who owned one of the shops that failed, told the Today programme that she had faced lots of challenges.

"Business was good but we started to notice people spending less," she told presenter John Humphrys.

"People would maybe buy just one item of clothing rather than say two or three items. They'd start making do and then they started not coming as often, just maybe visiting the bigger stores that were right in the centre, rather than smaller stores and once the shops start to close people stop coming to an area."

But the chief executive of the British Property Federation, Liz Peace, said not everywhere was suffering, explaining: "It's very variable across the country. There are some places where retail is absolutely booming, there are some places where it's not, but I think you know we've seen a successive worsening of these vacant shops figures and I think we've got to the point where it's no good just moaning about it.

"We've got to actually think about how to deal with what is a fundamental structural change in the shape of retail."

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