London book shop numbers remain stable

<p>Book shop numbers in London have remained broadly stable in the last year, according to store monitoring firm The Local Data Company (LDC). </p><p>In the year to the end of June, 74 new book shops opened in London while 75 shut. Nationally, the LDC only revealed a figure for closures (262) for the same period so the full picture remains unclear. The company said that there are 2,095 bookshops across England and Wales. </p><p>Figures are compiled by research teams which visit 700 shopping areas nationally and record changes of store use.</p><p>The wider research revealed that town vacancy rates have increased from just over 4% in the middle of 2008 to nearly 12% at the end of June this year. The areas heaviest hit by the recession are in the north and Midlands, with Derby, Liverpool and Leeds seeing more than 20% of retail property vacant. Central London had a vacancy rate of almost 13%. </p>