Large retail stores going under and leaving empty spaces

More than 300 former Woolworths stores lie vacant a year-and-a-half after the 807-branch retailer went under in the UK according to a recent report produced in the UK by Local Data Company (LDC). For a century, 'Woolies' was one of the most famous brands in the high street, but now it exists only in cyberspace as part of the online empire of Shop Direct, which paid an estimated £10m for the name in February last year.

In The Independent article, 'It's no wonder old Woolies stores blight our streets', of 22 August 2010, Matthew Hopkinson, business development director at LDC, said: "Given that some experts think that 18 to 20 per cent of empty retail units might never be re-used, apply that to Woolworths and it could be that 150 units will be empty forever."

In addition, the expansion of large retailers into an online format has meant the demise of many other spaces. Also, it seems, that local authorities are not capitalising on these spaces that have been abandoned or gone into receivership.