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Perth high streets: Track the empty and occupied units

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

Perth tracker map showing the empty and occupied units on the high streets
We've tracked units in each of Perth's main shopping streets and centre

Perth’s high streets are changing.

Stores occupied for more than a century have shut their doors, such as the historic Cairncross of Perth, but others left vacant for years have recently welcomed new businesses.

Some residents have not shied away from saying the city centre is “dying”, but what is really happening on the Fair City’s main shopping streets?

With a pandemic bringing retail gears to a halt for brick and mortar traders followed by the pressures of a cost of living crisis, it is not surprising that high streets across the country are struggling.

Following our Dundee high street tracker, the Courier data team set out to monitor the health of Perth’s retail hotspots.

We have mapped out more than 400 units across nine high streets, as well as St John’s Shopping Centre, to provide a true picture of the high street economy.

A busy High Street in Perth with empty and occupied units
A busy High Street in Perth, Thursday 31st August 2023. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

All of the data in this article is current to the best of our knowledge. If you have any more up to date information, please get in touch at

The tracker will ensure you can easily stay up to date on the ever changing appearance of the city.

Shops in Perth

Our maps and charts will display the latest available information to show the distribution of occupied and vacant units.

The included streets are High Street, George Street, St John Street, St John’s Place, South St John’s Place, King Edward Street, South Street, Scott Street (up to the junction with Victoria Street) and South Methven Place.

Our map shows only ground floor level units and is colour coded by occupation status.

Hovering over the drawn out units will also show further information such as the name and type of business.

Where the space is empty, the tracker provides details on the former occupant and an estimate on how long it has been vacant.

Using the collected data, we will monitor the vacancy rate for each street.

From restaurants to barbers, it is not just shops that we will keep an eye on. Diving even deeper into the make-up of Perth’s high streets, we will also track the retail categories of the units.

You can view an overall breakdown of the streets in the charts below.

St John’s Shopping Centre

St John’s Shopping Centre is situated in the heart of Perth city centre.

Our high street trackers cover streets which surround the centre and an analysis of how the city is faring would not be complete without a look inside.

Units located within St John’s are excluded from the data for High Street, King Edward Street, South Street and Scott Street.

But we will track them through our floor plan of the centre below.

Hover for further information on a unit you are interested in.

St John’s Shopping Centre first opened in 1988 and replaced the ancient St John’s Square.

It has seen shops come and go during the past three decades. Our floor plan above will also provide information on the last occupants of any empty stores.

The chart below shows the vacancy rate of the centre’s available units.

We will also be tracking the type of premises which occupy the centre – whether shopping, food and drink or even banking.

You can view our Dundee shopping centre tracker here.

Vacant unit summary

Where premises were empty, we strived to find out how long they have laid vacant.

For these purposes we checked businesses’ social media accounts, past coverage by The Courier, changes to signage on google street view history and the business status on Companies House.

Due to the subjective nature of these sources, some of the number of days vacant are approximates.

If you have any more information on any of the units, please contact the data team.

We excluded units with no available information on closure dates from this breakdown.


We carried out an on foot census of the high streets and shopping centre in Perth in November of 2023.

The data team manually drew the units and therefore the shapes may not be the full size.

The figures includes estimates on closure dates.

We approximated the dates through a combination of newspaper articles and archives, Google Maps, the businesses’ social media and various other sources.

The tracker is kept up to date based on Courier reporting and information supplied by readers. We will also carry out quarterly censuses.

But we might not always spot changes immediately, or even get every closure date right.

If you have further information on any shops opening or closing or just have more accurate information about previous occupants, we would love to hear from you.

We will greatly appreciate any tips or information you might be able to pass on – all of which can be passed on in the form below.

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