Last year, total sales fell 0.1%, marking the first annual sales decline since 1995.
Sales in November and December were particularly weak, falling 0.9%
Like-for-like retail sales fell 1.2% over November and December compared with the previous year
Greater community ownership of high street properties could lead to many fewer empty shops, compared to ownership by private-sector interests such as real estate companies and overseas investors.
- Shops owned by overseas investors are more than twice as likely to be vacant as shops owned by the public sector
- Real estate companies own one in four of all empty shops, and overseas investors own one in five; whereas the public sector and social sector  own around one in ten each
- Just 8% of units owned by the social sector are vacant, and 4.5% of those owned by the public sector – compared to 9.2% for real estate companies, 9.6% for overseas investors, 11.9% for institutions like pension funds, and 13% for investment management schemes