Victoria Centre Harrogate
Victoria Shopping Centre, Harrogate

Harrogate ranked 15th in Britain’s top shopping destinations

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Harrogate is one of Britain’s best locations for shopping, according to new research ranking the nation’s best performing retail centres.

Harrogate was placed at number 15 in the annual list of 1,000 retail centres compiled by strategic retail property consultancy, Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH) – climbing 8 places compared to 2021’s rankings.

The HDH Vitality Ranking determines the health of high streets and shopping centres by analysing a number of factors, including vacancy rates, resident’s movement and suitability to local consumer demands.

Buckinghamshire market town Beaconsfield topped the list for a second successive year. Locations such as Beaconsfield and Henley-on-Thames have risen sharply since 2019, as consumer shopping habits have become more localised amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Top 10

2022 Rank

Retail Centre

2021 Rank

Change v 2021

2019 rank

1

Beaconsfield

1

64

2

Marlborough

5

+3

10

3

Wimbledon Village

4

+1

7

4

Kingston upon Thames

7

+3

20

5

Henley-on-Thames

2

-3

28

6

Tenterden

3

-3

39

7

Sevenoaks

6

-1

30

8

Skipton

12

+4

110

9

Reigate

13

+4

12

10

Harpenden

9

-1

139

Source: HDH Vitality Ranking 2022

Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at HDH, explained:

The latest HDH Vitality Ranking reflects the realities that consumers and occupiers have had to face over the past year, and that continues into 2022.

The Delta variant’s effect on public health and the uncertainty around the impact of the Omicron variant resulted in the continuation of restrictions on consumer movement and occupier trading, leading to our rankings being comparable to the listing in 2021.

Small commuter towns, often with significant levels of wealth, retained their higher rankings this year, as remote working led to more localised consumer spending. Some larger centres rose in the ranking from 2021, many of which benefited from a significant increase in domestic tourism.

London commuter towns continue to dominate the top 25. However, as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, city centres have seen their fortunes improve.

Change v 2021

Retail Centre

2022 Rank

2021 Rank

+206

Newcastle Central

157

363

+153

Glasgow Central

212

365

+140

Liverpool Central

166

306

+131

Leeds Central

94

225

+131

Manchester Central

218

349

+71

Nottingham Central

209

280

Dan Hildyard, head of UK retail at HDH, added:

Throughout 2020 and much of 2021, the large traditional retail centres suffered as travel restrictions and evolving consumer behaviour resulted in more people shopping locally and through digital channels. However, as restrictions have eased, it is encouraging to see those city centres bouncing back and starting 2022 in a much stronger position than in 2021.

As more people return to offices, even if via hybrid work schedules, I expect to see footfall increase in our city centres as more consumers seek out the shopping, leisure and cultural experiences they have missed out on over the past two years.

1 Comment

  1. If Harrogate is 15th out of 1000 how bad were the other 885 below? I find this hard to take seriously, while we have Betty’s the rest is now your bland generic town centre, chains you could find anywhere, or shops that have been boarded up for years. There’s no sign of many of these many vacant retail units being filled any time soon, admittedly they’re completely unsuitable for use these days, but I don’t see a bright future either – who wants the grotty carcasses of Debenhams, Carphone Warehouse, Subway or Jack Fultons? Next and The Works have moved into better premises recently, again I doubt anyone will want to move into their old shops and Orvis will soon leave a big void on West Park.

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