BRC urges government action as store vacancies soar

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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged the government to extend the business rates holiday beyond April to avoid more high street damage after vacancy rates soared at the end of 2020.

In the final quarter of last year, shop vacancy rates across the UK hit 13.7%, up from 13.2% in the third quarter and 1.6 percentage points higher than the same period in 2019, according to the BRC-LDC data. 

While all retail destinations saw vacancies rise during the period, shopping centres were hit particularly hard, with the proportion of empty units reaching 17.1%. 

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