Large number of Oxford Street units are empty - report
Some 17% of Oxford Street’s properties are currently standing empty, it was claimed on Thursday, with the reason being about the rise of online shopping as well as the pandemic.
Real estate trade paper Property Week was unable to get figures on empty properties from leading agencies so when to the street and counted the empty units.
It counted 36 units were empty out of a total of around 215. This was a big increase on the 24 out of 264 units the Local Data Company said were empty in January. The report also said that some fo the units currently occupied are leased to pop-up operators such as Sook and are therefore only occupied short term.
A West End agent told the trade paper that the 17% figure sounds feasible but “it is isn’t a Covid thing; this is an e-commerce thing that has been wrapped into Covid to suit everyone’s purposes”.
Meanwhile, New West End Company CEO Jace Tyrrell said there’s a high number of empty sites but some would be occupied soon with new stores opening this summer.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, acknowledged that the number of empty spaces was high, but said that some of the units would soon come back into use with openings due this summer and a “proper” empty unit rate closer to 9%.
He added: “There’s about £4bn of developments coming through [on Oxford Street] over the next three years, which highlights the market confidence”.
The report also cited research from Cushman & Wakefield and Mytraffic that showed Oxford Street — formerly Europe’s busiest shopping street — suffered the worst footfall decline of Europe’s major high streets during the pandemic.
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