Guernsey retail sector performing better than UK as number of vacant shops falls

031122 Guernsey shopping
Over 13% of shops were empty at the beginning of 2022, but this fell to 8.3% by the year's end. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The number of vacant shops in Guernsey decreased by nearly 5 percentage points last year, according to an occupancy report by the island's retail group.

Over 13% of sites were empty at the beginning of 2022, but this fell to 8.3% by the year's end.

This contrasts favourably with the UK, where the rate of vacant shops stood at 13.8% by the final quarter of 2022.

Korinne Le Page from the Guernsey Retail Group (GRG), said this "illustrates the sector to be at a considerably healthier level compared to its equivalent on the mainland."

She added that the higher number of tourists visiting the island last year was a "welcome boost to the local retail economy, not just in town, but across the island."

The group also praised the island's 'Retail Pathway,' an initiative that helps the GRG, landlords and businesses provide short to medium-term opportunities for new and established retailers.

Jersey's town centre manager, Connor Burgher says more retails sites in St Helier are being turned into housing. Credit: ITV Channel TV

In Jersey, the town centre manager, Connor Burgher says he has noticed more landlords in St Helier are applying to turn empty shops into new homes

He said this could change the landscape of the town: "I think we could see the town centre move and shift, and as we see more residential units built around the outskirts of town, that is really going to change the way people move through St Helier."

He added: "The rising cost of doing business is only going to increase over the coming months and years, so I urge islanders to support the town centre by using it."