The unveiling of Grosvenor's Liverpool One in May 2008 triggered a rise in the number of void units in the city centre by 7.6 percentage points, according to research by Colliers CRE.
The proportion of empty shops in the city rose from 14.1% in April 2008 to 21.7% by October. Judged by floorspace the rise was less marked, from 11.9% of void floorspace to 16% in the same six month period.
Across all 15 centres surveyed in Colliers' national report, the number of retail voids as a proportion of total retail units rose from 12.7% in April 2008 to 14.2% in October 2008. High Wycombe had the highest proportion of void units 23.6% and Kensington High Street displayed the lowest proportion (2.3%).
Floorspace of retail voids as a proportion of total retail floorspace was 9.4% in April 2008, rising to 9.9% (7.9% vacant and 2.0% available but trading) in October 2008. Rotherham had the highest proportion of void floorspace (17.2%) and Kensington High Street the lowest (2.0%).
The centres monitored were Bournemouth, Cardiff, Chippenham, Dundee, High Wycombe, Ilford, Kensington High Street, Lisburn, Liverpool, MetroCentre, Northampton, Oxford Street, Plymouth, Rotherham and Worcester. The centres were selected to provide a cross-section of towns and cities in terms of size, quality of retail offer and geographical location. The next report will be published in May.