Figures have been released showing that shop vacancy rates in Ireland have increased with the highest in Limerick.
The figures released today by Experian, the global information services company, show that more than a quarter of Limerick's retail space is unoccupied.
The situation is expected to get worse, as vacancy is predicted to increase by more than two per cent in Limerick, to 27.39% by February 2010.
This projected rise in vacancies is reflected throughout the country with Dublin's rate expected to increase to 20.81%, Cork expected to increase from the current rate of 17.37% to 18.54% and Galway expected to increase from 13.65% to 14.33%.
The retail vacancy rate for Dublin is currently 20.67%, which is six per cent higher than the all Ireland average of 14.1%.
Ireland's average vacancy rate is two per cent higher than the UK average rate which stands at 12.5% and almost one per cent higher than the figure in the North which is 13.9%.