Blackpool has bucked the North West trend as it is one of the few areas which has seen high street rents increase compared to last year.
Research from property advisors Colliers International showed that 25 out of 39 town centres in the North West suffered lower retail rents with some falling 26 per cent.
Blackpool and Chester were the only two with rent rises – 11 per cent and three per cent respectively.
Matthew Thompson, senior retail research analyst at Colliers International, said areas such as Stockport and Chorley were hit by the proximity of big retail centres such as The Trafford Centre.
He said: “The growth of out of town and large scale regional developments over recent years is meeting the demands of both the consumer and the retailer regarding an improved shopping experience, which encompasses parking, mix of retail and leisure, unit size and product range.
“Furthermore, the significant growth in online shopping is having a profound effect on retailer property strategy.”
Nick Turk, head of UK retail at Colliers International, said internet shopping was having an impact and added: “If the high street is interesting, with a good range of national and independent retailers, it will attract shoppers away from formulaic retail parks. Those retailers that make “clicks” work for their ”bricks” and have a fully integrated property and on-line offer, will create loyalty and drive profits.”
A spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses in Blackpool said: “The rise in income from shop rents is a positive for Blackpool as it shows that demand may be increasing, which would reflect what we are seeing around increased consumer spending and growing confidence.
“Most retailers now find that they need to combine physical presence on the high street with an online presence too. And with smartphones now allowing internet access on the move, businesses are missing a trick if they don’t have online capability.”