Article courtesy of Somerset Live.
Sherborne is a better place to shop than Kensington or the Trafford Centre in Manchester, according to a new survey.
Property advisors Harper Dennis Hobbs conducted a study of 1,000 shopping districts across the UK, from small local high streets to major regional shopping malls, to see how well each area’s stores suited the needs of local shoppers.
The study also took account of the number of vacant retail units and the quantity of “undesirable” shops, such as pawnbrokers, money lenders, and bookmakers.
Based on these criteria, Sherborne was ranked among the 50 best places to shop in the whole country.
In a top 50 list published in The Sun newspaper, Sherborne ranked 27th within the top 50 – above the likes of Islington Upper Street (32nd), Kensington (33rd), the Trafford Centre (45th) and Oxford (48th).
Cambridge topped the rankings for the best shopping location – 47 places above its Oxbridge rival.
By contrast, the worst shopping centre in the UK was Shields Road in the Byker area of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where nearly one in five (19.6 per cent) retail units is empty.
The study found that “quality” retailers are increasingly gravitating towards a few very strong shopping centres and high streets, at the expense of the typical London high streets and smaller shops.
In the past five years, there has been a 2.7 per cent increase in the proportion of so-called “value” stores , including charity shops, across the country.
The proportion of “undesirable” shops also rose by 1.6 per cent during that period.