Stat of the day: 14%

The number of shop vacancies in Britain's high streets.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
The number of empty shops in Britain’s high street now stands at 14% - up from 10.5% last year. But according to the research carried out by the Local Data Company on behalf of the BBC’s Inside Out programme, it’s not all bad news. Although the number of empty stores is still rising, it’s at a slower pace than 2009.  

That's because high streets are adapting to the change by concentrating on services that aren’t available on the internet. While there’s been a decline in off-licences and travel agencies, there’s been a surge in the number of coffee shops, fast food outlets and hairdressers opening.  

In the 500 towns surveyed across Britain, 2,633 food businesses opened in the first half of the year, while another 2,145 hairdressing and beauty salons sprang up around town. So rather than tolling the death knell for Britain’s high streets, the internet appears to have changed the type of shops available - after all, however convenient the internet may be, it still won’t cut your hair. 

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