It's latest survey shows a national vacancy rate in shopping centre and high streets of 11.3% up 0.4% on the previous month. Northern Ireland is the worst affected area with the vacancy rate at 20%, and the next two worst regions were Wales, the North and Yorkshire, where 15% of shops are empty.
"Alarm bells will be ringing," said Stephen Robertson, the BRC's director general. Especailly as the survey also showed that overall footfall, which measures the number of shoppers dropped by 2.6% in Ocotber too.
Robertson believes the reason shops are struggling is because, "many retailers are battling stagnating sales and rising costs and next years threatened business (of 2.6% in April) rates can only make matters worse." He continued, "If the government wants to breathe life back into our town centres and ensure the retail industry can play its full role in job creation it needs to freeze rates in 2013."
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