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Vacant ex-Woolworths stores down by 40% since 2009

Published: 14 February 2013
There are now just 63 vacant ex-Woolworths stores in the UK compared with 385 in December 2009, a reduction of more than 40%.
Vacant ex-Woolworths stores down by 40% since 2009
It means the vacancy rate of the stores is at 8%, well below the national shop vacancy rate of 14.2%, according to the Local Data Company. The LDC has been keeping track of the premises since Woolworths went into administration in January 2009, closing 807 stores.

With 68 ex-Woolworths stores, Poundland now occupies 8.6%, the largest proportion of the stores, while independent retailers make up 7.8% (62) and Iceland owns 7.6% (60). The LDC also revealed that one in three of all old Woolworths stores have become pound or discount shops.

Some of the more alternative uses of the stores include an ASK restaurant in Rayleigh, a JD Wetherspoon pub in Birmingham, a library in Southsea, the Rialto Dance Academy in Birmingham and a dental practice in Oldham.

By December 2012, 72 of the ex-Woolworths properties had been demolished, an increase of 1.9% over the three years.

LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said: "This updated analysis of ex-Woolworths stores reflects the overall changes happening to high streets up and down the country. The take up by discount and food stores reflects the wider changes taking place. Of greater interest is the smaller but more diverse number of business types that have taken occupation such as a dance school, a dentist, a library and even a pub!

"Since Woolworths' decline many more retailers have followed, which has acted as a catalyst to the fundamental changes in occupation of retail locations up and down the country. Change is constant and change is inevitable!"


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