Discount stores have increased their occupancy of former Woolworths stores the most in the last 12 months, figures form the Local Data Company reveal.
Discount retailers now occupy 29% of the former Woolworths estate, up 7% on January 2011. Supermarkets have increased their share by 2% to 17% in the same period.
By retailer, frozen food chain Iceland has picked up the largest number of stores with 7% of the total. However, Poundland and Poundstretcher have recorded the strongest occupancy gains in the last 12 months. Poundlands’ share of stores has risen from 4% to 7%, while Poundstretcher now has a 3% share, up from 1% in 2011.
According to the Local Data Company, the number of vacant ex-Woolworths stores has reduced to 13% of the total in the three years since the chain went out of business.
The number of demolished properties has risen from 1.3% in January 2011 to 8.4% in January 2012, it added.
Table 1. National Woolworths vacant stores rate
Table 2. Regional Woolworths vacant stores rate
|East of England||74%||46%||42%||18%|
|Yorkshire & Humber||58%||36%||18%||5%|
Table 3. Total % occupancy by retailer
|Retailer||Ex-Woolworths units occupied (%)|
|Original Factory Shop||3%||3%|
Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “It is encouraging to see 87% of the old Woolworths shops now occupied. It reflects the fact Woolworths was once the anchor store in many centres and the current market has enabled greater opportunity for retailers to relocate to more prime locations due to high shop vacancy rates.
“The significant rise in the number of demolished properties is noteworthy and may be connected to empty rates relief being abolished and the state of the market in these tertiary locations with little or no retail demand.”