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Dundee city centre: Track the empty and occupied units

We've tracked units on some of the city's main shopping streets to check the health of our high streets.

A 3D map of Dundee city centre shops with red and blue colours used to indicate empty and occupied units

Dundee high streets are struggling.

The last few years have been tumultuous for the bricks and mortar retail economy, with many businesses failing to reopen after the pandemic.

The Courier data team set out to quantify the effect on the Dundee retail footprint by creating maps of all of the retail spaces across 11 high streets and carrying out a census of the activity in each area.

We plan to track these key retail areas long term to keep a finger on the pulse of the Dundee high street economy.

Shops in Dundee

A general street view of Nethergate in Dundee.
Nethergate, Dundee. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

We’ve mapped the Perth Road, Castle Street, Commercial Street, Crichton Street, Exchange Street, High Street (including City Square), Murraygate, Nethergate, Reform Street, Union Street, and Whitehall Street.

We’ve also collected data on Dundee shopping centres, and you can read further analysis of our findings here.

You can view and interact with all of the data below or keep scrolling for more detailed information regarding individual streets.

Red units on any of the maps below indicate a vacant unit.

The chart below shows the vacancy rate for each street based on the data we’ve collected.

We also will be tracking the breakdown of the retail category of each unit type. We have high level categories which you can see in the chart below and we’ve also collected more detailed data, which we will use in our reporting to answer questions such as – do we have too many vape shops.

Perth Road shops

Perth Road lies in the west end of the city in Dundee’s cultural quarter. The area has a large student population with the Duncan of Jordanstone art school sitting at number 13.

The map below tracks the activity of Perth Road up to the Sinderins junction.

Nethergate, Union Street, Whitehall Street

Nethergate joins on from the Perth Road right around the Dundee University campus. Union Street and Whitehall Street run off of Nethergate.

The data for the Nethergate excludes units located within the Overgate shopping centre as that data is included in a separate Dundee shopping centre tracker article.

High Street, City Square, Crichton Street, Castle Street, Reform Street

High Street lies smack bang in the middle of the city centre. City Square is a U-shaped off shoot of High Street and contains the concert venue – the Caird Hall.

Commercial Street, Murraygate, Exchange Street

Exchange Street is one of the smallest streets of the eleven we’re tracking and is a haven for independent businesses.

The Wellgate shopping centre sits just at the end of Murraygate. You can find that data in our shopping centre tracker article.

The Murraygate suffered a recent loss with the announcement of the forthcoming closure of shoe retailer, Clarks.

Vacant unit summary

We catalogued whether a unit was occupied or not and if it was occupied, the type of retail activity the space is being used for. Where we discovered that a unit was vacant, we tried to ascertain the length of time the space had been unoccupied.

We did this by checking the social media accounts of the business, checking Courier reporting, looking for the business status on Companies House, looking for changes to signage on google street view history and in some cases by checking for signs in the windows of the premises.

Because of the subjectivity of the sources, the number of days vacant should be treated as approximate. If you have any more up to date information for our records, please get in touch.

There are also some unoccupied units where we were unable to locate the closure date, so these are not included in our breakdown of the longest vacant units.

Interested in the data for shopping centres? We have also tracked data for the Wellgate and the Overgate. 


An in person census was carried out in May and June of 2023, and then again in November 2023.

You can read our latest analysis  of the changes to the high streets and shopping centres here.

We need your help!

All of the data in our shopping centre tracker is collected manually by the Courier data team. We continuously update the data whenever we notice any changes but it’s possible we may miss something.

We appreciate all the support we’ve received for our trackers so far, and would love if you would like to help us keep it up to date.

If there’s anything you spot opening or closing you’d like us to know about, or if you have more accurate information on closing dates of units or what the last business to occupy a unit was, you can let us know using the form below.

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