Cambridge as been ranked as the UK’s most resilient retail location outside of London, followed by Bristol and Guildford.
The data has been published as part of FM provider Cushman & Wakefield’s annual UK Town Centres – What’s Next? report, which analyses the performance of 250 town centres since the start of the financial crisis.
The data is based on 24 economic, demographic and retail property metrics, and highlights the evolving role of the UK’s town centres.
In 2019, the report has found a clear correlation between ‘shopper mission’ and town centre vitality.
For example, as consumers become more mobile and less reliant on physical retail shops, expectations are changing. Cushman & Wakefield says these missions generally fall into one of three categories:
- large destination, or experience orientated visits,
- purpose shopping that is focused on specific purchases, and
- community-based convenience trips.
The report asserts that retail locations that do not align with at least one of these key missions will need to repurpose to remain relevant.
In the 2019 rankings, Bristol’s has leaped forward, rising from 9th to 2nd to sit behind Cambridge, which kept the top spot it claimed in 2018. The Top is rounded out by Guildford, Exeter and Oxford, respectively.
“The towns within our top 10 are navigating the fast pace of change best and offering visitors a variety of reasons to keep coming back,” said Amy Gibson, Retail Analyst at Cushman & Wakefield.