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One in Seven Shops Remain Empty and Thousands of Local Shops Quieter Since Reopening as More Than Half of Shoppers Have Yet to Return to the High Street

By Emily Peagram 30 Apr 2021

The number of empty shops has risen again, with one in seven across Britain now vacant, according to new research according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and national loyalty scheme, My VIP Card has discovered that 40% of the local businesses that have reopened are quieter than usual pre-pandemic trading as over half (51%) of shoppers are reluctant to return to the high street.

The BRC’s quarterly report, compiled with the Local Data Company, found that in the first three months of 2021, the overall vacancy rate increased to 14.1%, from 13.7% in the previous quarter.

The loyalty scheme has recently launched the ‘Shop Small to Help Out’ campaign and vows to promote thousands of local shops and services to its huge network of UK shoppers. As part of the campaign any small businesses can now sign up for free and will benefit from being promoted to a huge national audience of shoppers keen to support local and small business whilst taking advantage of thousands of amazing discounts.

Maddy Alexander-Grout, Founder of My VIP Card, added, “The figures from the British Retail Consortium reflect what our thousands of members are telling us as even the ones that have struggled to reopen remain quiet.

Unless shoppers are willing to get out and use these amazing local services the number of shops closing on our high streets is set to rise as so many are fighting to stay afloat. These local businesses that are vital to all our communities need our support more than ever.”

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