London’s premier shopping thoroughfare is lined with more vacant units than the average British high street, Retail Week can reveal. 

The vacancy rate on Oxford Street is higher than that of the average British high street and the rest of central London, according to exclusive data compiled for Retail Week by Local Data Company (LDC). 

A survey of the street last month revealed that 42 of Oxford Street’s 269 shops stood empty, a vacancy rate of 16%.

The result is higher than the average vacancy rate for high streets in central London (13%) and for shopping streets across the rest of Britain (14%).

Neighbouring Regent Street also had fewer empty stores with 22 of its 165 units unoccupied, a rate of 13%. 

LocationTotal unitsVacant unitsVacancy rate

Oxford Street




Regent Street




Oxford Street and Regent Street




Central London



Great Britain



Local Data Company for Retail Week

The results show the number of empty shops on Oxford Street has climbed since last year, when the recorded vacancy rate was 14%. 

With a reported 500,000 daily visitors, Oxford Street is London’s busiest shopping strip. However, as many retailers failed during the pandemic, some of the UK’s most notable brands disappeared from the street, including Debenhams, House of Fraser and Topshop

Several vacancies, including the iconic HMV building, have been filled with American candy stores on short-term lease agreements. 

Despite the downturn, a forecast by New West End Company (the partnership that represents retail and property owners on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street) and professional services firm Colliers claims that London’s West End remains on track to reach an annual turnover of £10bn by 2025. 

“Despite economic headwinds and the cost-of-living crisis, year-to-date sales are up 56% compared to 2021,” said New West End Company chief executive Dee Corsi.

“Recent investment from new and existing brands, coupled with a strong development pipeline and a reduction in business rates, has increased appetite from new forward-thinking brands who want to come and reap the rewards of being in the district. 

“This in turn is doing a good job of pushing out the low-level retail on Oxford Street that was exacerbated following the pandemic.”