Nearly 70% of independent retailers are doing well. And, within that 70% figure, independent bakers are among the most popular on the high street, according to a new report from the Local Data Company.

Bakery shop closures are cancelled out by the number of bakery shops opening. But it is not all good news. Sales at independent food stores fell by just under 1% and are down 3.4% on the previous year. The biggest year-on-year drop since records began in 1988. The value of food sales rose by 1.3%.

According to Local Data’s Matthew Hopkinson: "Location is key, including which end of the high street and certain regions are performing better."

Nineteen per cent of all types of independent shops are empty in large centres in the north west, north east, east and west Midlands. In Yorkshire and the Humber region it is even higher, at 21%. The Kent coastal town of Margate has the highest number of empty shops 34%.

Liz Peace of the British Property Federation said: "The challenge for local authorities is to work with businesses, including retailers and landlords, to sensibly manage this transition and to be creative in looking for new roles for empty shops."

Also see feature ’The mean streets’