Guernsey’s retail economy continues to perform well according to the latest figures released by the Guernsey Retail Group.
The Guernsey Retail Group (GRG), which represents the sector locally, reports that the shop vacancy rate for quarter four of 2022 stands at 8.3% across the Island, representing a 4.95% reduction compared with the first three months of last year, which was 13.25%. This follows completion of the latest shop count.
Korinne Le Page, Head of Retail Development at the GRG, commented: “We collect data at the end of each quarter which is broken down into streets and benchmarked with the most recent, equivalent statistics published in the UK by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The BRC has confirmed that UK shop vacancies at the end of Q4 of 2022 were running at 13.8%, just 0.1% lower than in the previous quarter.
“By comparison, the Bridge is showing a vacancy rate of 11.6%, so still lower than the UK and expected to improve in Q1 of 2023 with businesses moving into existing empty premises. This is tremendous news and illustrates the sector to be at a considerably healthier level compared to its equivalent on the mainland.”
The GRG believes the continuous improvements in shop occupancy locally to be directly attributable to a higher number of openings, expansions of existing outlets and the success of the ‘Retail Pathway’. This initiative is different to pop-up shops and sees the GRG, landlords and businesses work collaboratively to provide short to medium-term rental opportunities for new and established retailers.
Ms Le Page added: “As far as Guernsey is concerned, the return of tourist numbers in 2022 – cruise ship passengers and the longer stay visitors through the harbour and airport – has provided a welcome boost to the local retail economy, not just in Town, but across the Island. The increase in day trips from the UK being offered by Condor has also helped to increase footfall. These trends are expected to continue in 2023 with cruise ship numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels.
“As an industry, we are committed to continue offering choice, availability, service and value for money for all consumers and to encourage Islanders to buy locally.”