Retail news round-up on May 9, 2014: Midcounties Co-operative boss hits back at Myners; Shop vacancy rates drop to lowest rate in almost four years; Bershka mulls Oxford Street flagship exit.

Midcounties Co-operative boss Ben Reid hits back at Lord Myners over report criticism

Midcounties Co-operative’s chief executive Ben Reid has hit back at Lord Myners over his attack on him and his fellow Co-operative Group board members. Reid said it was “tragic” that Myners had vilified the Co-op’s directors for presiding over a failure of governance.

Reid told the Guardian: “It’s a shame that the debate has got personal when it’s about something more important than Ben Reid or Paul Myners. We’ve got the AGM next week and I look forward to us having a good debate and moving forward.”

Number of vacant shops in UK falls to 13.5% in April

Shop vacancy rates in the UK dropped to its lowest level since July 2010 to 13.5% in April, according to the latest figures from Local Data Company. In March this year, the rate stood at 14.5%. There remain 51,491 vacant units across the UK towns, shopping centres and retail parks.

Bershka mulls exit from Oxford Street flagship unit

Women’s young fashion retailer Bershka, owned by Inditex, wants to offload its 10,000 sq ft Park House flagship outlet at 460-490 Oxford Street with still eight years left on the lease.

Spanish parent company Inditex was considering exiting because trading had not met expectations, , Retail Week’s sister magazine Drapers reported. Bershka is likely to retain its smaller store at 221-223 Oxford Street.

One source said Park House’s Qatari landlords stipulated the development can only house flagship stores and wanted retailers with a “long-term commitment”. It is thought Inditex is looking for a potential replacement itself.