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Study crowns Bucks town ‘one the UK’s best shopping destinations’



Locals can feel proud after the town was lavished with praise and took the ninth spot in a ranked list of the UK’s 50 shopping destinations, based on a range of measures including retail unit vacancy rate, the change in vacancy rate, space being adapted for other uses, shopper spend per annum and footfall figures.

Newmark Retail, which carried out the Vitality Index 2024 assessment, said the market town of Beaconsfield falls to 9th place, while Cambridge takes the top spot. Marlborough and Wimbledon Village remain in their respective 2nd and 3rd positions.

Andy Metherell, Head of Consultancy & Analytics at Newmark’s UK & EMEA Retail Practice, who leads the Vitality Rankings, says more affluent or tourist shopping locations dominate this year’s rankings compared with solely commuter towns in previous years. He said:

“Luxury destinations have attained higher positions in this year’s rankings as the cost-of-living crisis – caused by inflation and other economic headwinds – is less likely to impact shoppers in locations like Chelsea, Sloane Street and Knightsbridge.

“Affluent commuter towns have also retained their high positions as local residents are more likely to undertake hybrid working and therefore shop in their local towns more often than before the pandemic, helping to maintain vitality and occupier performance.

“However smaller locations whose shoppers are more vulnerable to the cost-of-living crisis have fallen down the rankings as pandemic-related factors, such as vaccination rates or the presence of convenience retail, are no longer driving high street vitality.

“The return of tourists and pre-pandemic shopping habits have also boosted the performance of major shopping destinations such as Westfield Stratford City, Leeds city centre and Liverpool city centre.

“Larger retail centres have returned to higher rankings despite being a challenging year for retailers and consumers.”

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