Landlords and developers should contribute to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) as well as the retailers that occupy their buildings, leading figures from both the retail and property sector said this week.

Making property owners contribute to BIDs is a key plank of Retail Week’s Manifesto for the High Street, and speaking at the British Property Federation’s (BPF) Retail Summit, HMV Group head of property Mark Bowles said he believed landlords should play their part

He said: “Landlords and property owners should contribute to BIDs and there is more of a role for local authorities to play.” The BPF said it supported such a move too.

Bowles said he expected that in the future retailers will concentrate on fewer, bigger stores in better locations, and that he was noticing a widening gap between the performance of the best and worst retail locations.

According to Local Data Company figures released this week, shop vacancies have jumped to 12.4% in the six months to December 31, but while the rise in the vacancy rate has slowed in prime locations, secondary towns are still suffering. Margate - featured in last week’s Retail Week - had the highest vacancy rate at 27.2%.

Hammerson managing director of retail Lawrence Hutchings said that further developing leisure and restaurant offers alongside retail will be crucial in creating a physical shopping experience as online sales continue to grow.