One in ten shops in Britain, empty
According to reports, more than one in ten shops in Britain are empty, leaving our collective high-street looking pretty barren. It's the highest level recorded thus far, with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) stating that 11.3% of stores are vacant.
Some big names have gone down the pan too, with JJB Sports, Blacks Leisure, Clinton Cards and Game all hitting the dirt with hundreds of stores closing.
The BRC say that Northern Ireland has been hit the hardest with 20% of shops going by the wayside, with Wales and North Yorkshire seeing figures hitting 15.1% and 14.6% respectively.
"This new high in empty shop numbers really sets alarm bells ringing," said BRC Director General Stephen Robertson, adding that this survey "confirms that financial challenges for both customers and retailers are far from over."
And with roughly two-thirds of Britain's GDP being generated by money spent in shops, this is particularly worrying news. With energy bills rising, it seems Britain's economic growth is going to be slow and laborious. There's been calls for councils to relax planning rules so that the retailers can get things going again, but it seems unlikely. If customers have no money to spend, then it may not make any difference.