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Landlords vacancy fears rise as retailers assess their options

17 February 2012

Jones Lang LaSalle recently estimated that 50% of retail leases are to expire by 2015. Retailers will be able to pick and choose whether they want to stay or go and, in a market with high vacancies, will be able to demand extremely favourable terms from their landlords. Landlords may then have little choice but to concede to the demands or face a vacant unit. However there are those who are suggesting that the future for the High Street does not necessarily lie in retail. With a huge increase in online shopping the call is for shopping areas with an experience, catering for cafes, events and for things you cannot or prefer not to do online or even conversion to residential use. If vacancies are to increase landlords may be faced with little alternative but to look for a non-retail use. The question is, following the Mary Portas’ review, how will the government help?

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