Ralph Riegel: Regional cities top of list for closures with one-in-five shops vacant
While regional towns suffer, occupancy rates in some prime Dublin retail zones stand at 97.5 per cent
SMALL businesses are shutting up shop faster than they did during the 1920s recession, with one-in-five shops in some regional cities now lying vacant.
And with consumer confidence still fragile ahead of another austerity Budget, new figures obtained by the Sunday Independent reveal Ireland has developed a two-tier recession with shop vacancies in Cork, Waterford and Limerick now almost double those in Dublin.
Incredibly, prime Dublin retail zones like Grafton Street and O'Connell Street have a 97.5 per cent occupancy rate for the peak winter months, highlighting the contrast with struggling regional centres.