London’s Oxford Street has also been hurt by economic hits such as the coronavirus crisis, with major brands including Topshop, Debenhams and House of Fraser all closing branches.
Many vacancies in the capital’s West End are now filled with American candy stores on short term leases.
Experts said retailers were being ‘cautious and biding their time’ over opening new stores but also pointed out that the overall vacancy rate in Britain was 0.3 percentage points better than the same period last year.
It comes amid continued concerns over the future of UK high streets which have been crippled by competition from online retailers and out-of-town retail parks.
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