The latest figures compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC) reveal an average of 14.6% of shops across Britain now lie empty, reports the BBC.
LDC says a dramatic drop in consumer spending, which it calculates is now back at 2002 levels, is partly to blame for the high vacancy rate.
Other factors include higher online sales and retail space expansion.
@BritProp tweeted vacancy by type reveals high street in large centres 16.2% vacant versus retail parks 8.1%.
Small centre high streets seem to do better – with 10.6% vacant.
As ever, there's disparity between London and the rest of the UK.
This LDC report is controversial however – its methodology has been criticised by the Association of Town Centre Management who have said its data is “fatally flawed” because it uses out-of-date criteria on determining the boundaries of a town centre.
You can quibble over percentages, but the fact there are a large number of empty and boarded-up shops is self-evident.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said the survey indicated the need for a rethink on the redevelopment of vacant property.
She told BBC Radio 4 Today this morning:
" We've got to actually think about how to deal with what is a fundamental structural change in the shape of retail."
The survey coincided with today’s BPF Retail Summit – follow @BritProp on twitter if you want live tweets from that event.