Retail vacancy rate falls in Liverpool city centre

There has been another fall in the number of vacant retail units in Liverpool city centre with the figure now half that of the national average. Tony McDonough reports

The Vintage Store
Just 5.4% of retail units in Liverpool city centre are vacant. Picture by Tony McDonough


Just 5.4% of retail units in Liverpool city centre are empty – less than half the national average of 11% – according to Liverpool BID Company.

In March, BID reported a 6.2% vacancy rate in the city centre. This figure hit 9.8% at the height of the COVID pandemic. The current rate is also well below the North West average of 10.4% and London’s which is 9.2%.

These figures, collated by Liverpool BID Company and Springboard, reveal the vacancy rate, which tracks empty units at ground floor level in the city Retail & Leisure BID area. This covers the majority of the city centre but excludes Liverpool ONE.

For independent units, the vacancy rate has also reduced and is now at 40.7% (down from 42.2%) in Liverpool city centre. In the North West the rate is 55.6% (up from 48.4%) and the UK is 46.9% (up from 42.7%).

Jennina O’Neill, chair of Liverpool BID’s Retail & Leisure Board and centre manager at Metquarter says there are different reasons for Liverpool’s performance.

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She explained: “Liverpool city centre is bucking both a national trend and a regional one. In the last report we saw a range of openings throughout the city centre having a positive impact, including Flannels, Decathlon and Albert Schloss.

“What those investments do is they generate confidence. We know that there will also be movement and change over any given year, especially with the challenges high street businesses are facing now.

“But these figures suggest an underlying confidence which is a great base from which to move forward.”

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