City centres prove the most attractive Christmas shopping destinations

08 December 2004

New research shows city centres* are fighting back and have become the most attractive Christmas shopping destinations, leaving many of the UK's purpose built shopping centres out in the cold.

With only 29 shopping days left until Christmas, the UK's retailers are gearing up for the millions of customers they hope will flow through their doors and spend, spend, spend. But while many people travel out of town to specially designed and constructed shopping centres, new analysis has revealed that shopping districts in large towns and city centres have become a far more attractive place to make those Christmas purchases.

The research created by leading market intelligence specialist GMAP Consulting#, has produced a top 30 ranking of the UK's most attractive retail 'super centres', based on its Retail Centres Database$.

London's West End tops the chart, with its combination of high street retailers, designer boutiques and department stores. Scotland also excels with Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres at second and third place respectively. No shopping centres appear within the top 30 with the first, Manchester's Trafford Centre, ranked at only 42**.

Martin Clarke, Principle Consultant at GMAP Consulting comments:
"Our attractiveness ranking has revealed that while shopping centres have been much lauded over during last few years as ideal retail destinations, there seems to be a resurgence of interest in everywhere from city centres to local high streets. Shopping centres may be purpose built to provide a unique retail experience, but with city regeneration programmes and a move by retailers to locate on high streets, consumers are now spoilt for choice!".

"This kind of intelligence can be extremely powerful in helping retailers to decide on where to locate new stores, and to help them manage their existing store networks."

* The top 30 retail super centres ranked by attractiveness

Rank
Super Centre
Location Type
Centre Attractiveness Rating
1
West End +
Primary Centre
27414
2
Glasgow
City Centre
9107
3
Edinburgh
City Centre
7911
4
Manchester
City Centre
6831
5
Leeds
City Centre
6337
6
Birmingham +
City Centre
6304
7
Cardiff
City Centre
5551
8
Liverpool
City Centre
5106
9
Norwich
City Centre
5084
10
Aberdeen
City Centre
4997
11
Nottingham
City Centre
4810
12
Bristol
City Centre
4729
13
Newcastle upon Tyne
City Centre
4709
14
Southampton +
Large Town
4674
15
Reading
City Centre
4529
16
Brighton
City Centre
4492
17
Cambridge
City Centre
4264
18
Kingston upon Thames
Primary Centre
4248
19
Sheffield
City Centre
4172
20
Croydon
Primary Centre
4058
21
Guildford
Large Town
4041
22
Chester
City Centre
4015
23
Hull
Large Town
3956
24
Leicester
City Centre
3945
25
York
City Centre
3861
26
Cheltenham
Large Town
3805
27
Dundee
Large Town
3740
28
Watford
Large Town
3720
29
Bath
Large Town
3699
30
Belfast N (NI)
City Centre
3643

 

+ Locations marked indicate aggregated centres comprising more than one specific location i.e. Birmingham includes Mailbox and Bullring areas

$ The research has been built using the 'UK Retail Centres Database' from GMAP Consulting. The Retail Centres Database provides a comprehensive review and ranking of over 4,000 centres of retail activity. Each centre has been defined using retail store data alongside locational information to identify discrete clusters of retail activity. By also understanding the types, number, mix, and turnover of individual retailers within a centre GMAP have been able to evaluate each centre in terms of its overall brand strength and attractiveness to consumers. This measure allows retailers to understand the draw of a centre and to compare centres and benchmark different locations. The Centre Attractiveness Ratings are ranked to provide an easy centre lookup to identify vibrant retail centres against declining ones. The database is updated quarterly.

# GMAP Consulting is a leading supplier of market intelligence and predictive modelling solutions. It enables businesses in the pharmaceutical, automotive, retail, financial services and forecourt industries to understand their markets, customers, competitors and channel to market.
This helps them maximise channels to market, reducing risks and identifying areas of threat and opportunity. GMAP's solutions are based on a series of proprietary market modelling, analysis and planning algorithms, combined with key market information and GMAP's market-specific business modelling software solution, MICROVISION. MICROVISION provides a desktop view for reporting, querying and mapping network and market analyses.

** The top 5 shopping centres ranked by attractiveness

Rank
Shopping Centre
Location
Centre Attractiveness Rating
42
Trafford Centre
Manchester
3,206
51
Merry Hill Centre
Brierly Hill
3,061
55
Meadowhall
Sheffield
3,019
56
Bluewater
Dartford
3,014
67
Metro Centre
Gateshead
2,864

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