Galway escapes vacant shops syndromeOctober 26, 2012 - 7:15am
BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM
Galway has the lowest level of vacant ‘high street’ retail units of any city in the country, and survived the Summer because of its strong tourist population, according to a new report.
The survey by property consultants CBRE – which was carried out in the third quarter of the year on Shop St, William St, High St and Mainguard St – found that just 2.8% of retail units were lying empty.
And businesspeople here are taking advantage of lower rents by expanding and demanding more flexible lease options.
The vacancy rate in Galway City compares to 18.2% in Athlone, 16.3% in Limerick, 13% in Cork and Belfast, 12% in Sligo, 7% in Kilkenny and 4% in Dublin.
Only Killarney has a lower vacancy rate than Galway City on its main shopping thoroughfare, at 2%. The report surveyed a total of more than 100 shop units in Galway, and found that just three units were vacant.
“The vacancy count in Galway comprised over 100 retail units along the main streets of Shop Street, William Street, High Street and Mainguard Street. However, it is interesting to note that Shop Street, High Street and Mainguard Streets had no visible vacancy (units may be temporary let and available off-market). William Street on the other hand had three vacant units which caused the overall Galway shopping area to fall slightly short of full occupancy.”
The property consultants added that Galway’s shopping thoroughfare is holding up particularly well because of the offering for tourists.
“Galway particularly utilises its strong tourist population as evidenced by the range of occupiers along the main retail streets. Unlike most other cities, fashion retailers did not account for the majority of occupiers on the high streets, rather Gifts, Jewellery, Public Houses and Cafes alone accounted for over 40 of the retail units along Galway’s high streets,” they said.
The Top 10 occupiers in Galway City were jewellers, cafés and pubs (16% each), gifts (13%), mobile phone (9%) and finally chemists, clothing, ladieswear, shoes and sports (all at 6%).
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.