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Vacancy rates set to soar as shop & restaurant closures increase

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Retail store vacancy rates are due to soar in the coming months, with 650 stores and restaurants having already shut in 2018 or at risk of closure as more companies fall into administration.

Research from BBC Radio 5 Live's Wake up to money has discovered that Toys R Us and Maplins accounted for half of the total number, after both retailers announced they would be moving into administration at the end of February.

The remaining Toys R Us stores will close this week, whilst administrators acting on behalf of Maplins are keeping doors open in 217 of their stores, as they continue to search for a buyer.

More bad news surfaced this week, with news that the fashion retailer East with 49 branches, had failed to find a buyer and would cease trading on 4th May.

The news comes as a number of troubled retailers look to streamline their property portfolio in order to ease pressure on bricks and mortar. Marks & Spencer is currently undergoing a store closure plan to close six properties by the end of April, with seven more planned by the end of 2018.

On 12th April Carpetright announced a proposal to address its legacy property issues and reduce the size of its UK property estate by 92 stores by the implementation of a company voluntary arrangement.

Read - Carpetright implements CVA and confirms closure of 92 stores.

New Look are also likely to close between 50-100 stores, whilst concern is growing for the fate of the 250 store Homebase chain, as Australian owner Wesfarmers looks for a fast-track exit from the UK market.

Read - Wesfarmers facing fast-track exit from the UK.

Source: Insight Team

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24 April 2018

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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