SPALDING has seen the biggest fall in retail rents in the East Midlands according to a report.
Rents across the region have fallen by 5.7 per cent in the last year according to Colliers International’s annual Midsummer Retail Report.
Of the 27 regional shopping centres and high streets surveyed, not one saw a rise in rents.
Thirteen saw a slide in rents, with Spalding seeing the biggest drop, at 20 per cent. Rent in the town is now £40 per sq ft, which is less than Boston’s £70 and Stamford’s £80.
Overall, the average rent in the region is £73.1 per sq ft, compared to the national average of £109.80.
The cheapest rents in the region can be found in Alfreton. Shop space can be had in the former Derbyshire coal mining town for just £30 per sq ft.
The overall regional decline of 5.7 per cent compares with a national average of 1.2 per cent.
According to Nick Round, national head of shopping centre leasing at Colliers, the research demonstrates that the gulf between the performance of major city and town centres and traditional suburban high streets continues to widen.
“Traditional high streets, such as Spalding just can’t compete – they lack the variety of stores, are often difficult to access and expensive to park in and simply just aren’t exciting enough.”
He added: “The retail sector as a whole is in challenging times. Retailers are under attack from reducing disposable incomes and competition from new channels, such as the internet and TV.
“For traditional high streets in secondary locations, competition from city and town centres and out-of-town shopping malls can be added to this.
“Shoppers now expect a complete leisure experience, incorporating a wide variety of entertainment, food, drink and retail brands.
“City centres and dedicated malls are in a better position to offer this.”