The Word on the Street

IT seems businesses have not been slow in coming forward when it comes to jumping into another’s grave!  The number of independent traders in high streets across the UK, a trait replicated across Europe, surged during the latter part of last year. Why? Because while established chains bit the dust, others jumped at the opportunity sweep in with a new broom and clean up in terms of acquiring vacant shops at reduced rental rates.

A huge boom in new business outlets took hold towards the end of 2009, with floundering firms making way for entrepreneurial enterprise. The figures are in stark contrast to those of 2008 when the majority of businesses closing were independent.

The balance in retail power is said to have switched, for now at least, from the conglomerates to mid-size and small outfits as they have been able to organise themselves quicker to take advantage of low rates, as well as better consumer spending than a lot of experts predicted. Rents dropped by more than 10 per cent, a dramatic fall, and the biggest slump in more than 20 years.

There is a downside, with business running costs higher because of a rise in inflation and VAT. However, if you need premises or are looking to expand into the high street, look around. There could still be an affordable deal for you.

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