Shop vacancies in Guernsey fall in boost for retail economy in sign of post-pandemic recovery

031122 Guernsey shopping
The new outlets in Guernsey offer a range of items from clothing to kitchens, bakery products, pottery and gift items Credit: Guernsey Retail Group

The number of shop vacancies in Guernsey have decreased indicating growth and recovery for the island's retail sector.

Figures released by Guernsey Retail Group (GRG) show shop vacancy rates have falle this year, particularly for the first few months of 2022, which stands at 7.8% across town.

Highlighting a 5.45% decrease from the first three months of this year, which was 13.25%.

These contrast with the most recent equivalent statistics published in the UK by the British Retail Consortium, which indicated shop vacancies at the end of 2023 running at 13.9%, 0.1% lower than in the previous quarter.

Figures released by Guernsey Retail Group (GRG) show shop vacancy rates have fallen this year

Head of Retail Development at the GRG Korinne Le Page, attributed the positive news to a number of factors.

She said: "The continuous improvements in shop occupancy on-Island can be directly attributed to a higher number of shop openings, expansions of existing outlets and the success of the ‘Retail Pathway’.

"This initiative sees the GRG, landlords and businesses work collaboratively to provide short and medium term rental opportunities for new and established retailers.

"The figures are an encouraging sign that the effects of the pandemic of the past two years are subsiding and show real optimism in the retail sector, particularly when you consider our vacancies are at almost half the level of those on the mainland."

Over the past few months, a number of outlets have opened or relocated in town, including Mazzouk, Sole Mates, Snack Time and Beghin’s which has returned to St Peter Port after three years.

In the Commercial Arcade, Merci Antiques and Iris & Dora are recent, new arrivals along with The Collections Centre.

Guernsey statistics contradict with recent equivalent statistics published in the UK by the British Retail Consortium Credit: ITV Channel

Out of St Peter Port, Che Zoe has opened at L’Islet and Mysa and Sprinkle of Magic in New Road on the Bridge.

Ms Le Page continued: "Islanders showed great loyalty during Covid and the return of tourist numbers this year, cruise ship passengers and the longer stay visitors through the harbour and airport, has helped provide 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 next summer will help increase footfall.

"As an industry, we are determined to continue to offer choice, availability, service and value for money for all consumers and to encourage Islanders to buy locally."

The GRG have now installed footfall counters in the busy pedestrian areas in St Peter Port that will monitor visitor numbers in the Town.

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