Cambridge city centre once again crowned UK’s number one

Trinity Street, Cambridge. Image by Billy Wilson via Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

Cambridge city centre has regained its crown as the UK’s most popular shopping destination, a new poll has revealed.

According to the list by Newmark Retail as part of its annual Vitality Rankings, Cambridge climbed 35 places from its 2022 ranking to top the list of best shopping destinations this year. It’s the first time since 2019 that Cambridge finds itself in the number one spot. It’s believed that this is due to numbers of tourists, students and shoppers all returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The rankings looked at the performance of 1,000 UK retail centres. They take into account a number of factors, including retail unit vacancy rate, the change in vacancy rate, space being adapted for other uses, shopper spend per annum and footfall figures.

Cambridge is well known for the quality of its retail offering, boasting more than 250 independent businesses, a seven-day market, and a myriad of big high street names in the city. Whether individuals are looking for clothes, home furnishings, jewellery, books, art and other gifts, there’s something for everyone in Cambridge.

Andy Metherell, Head of Consultancy & Analytics at Newmark's UK & EMEA Retail Practice, who leads the Vitality Rankings, said: "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."

“Notably, Nottingham and Cambridge have enjoyed a resurgence of activity in their city centres and now rank among the top five in their respective regions. Affluent towns like Harpenden, Berkhamsted, Chester, and Yarm maintain strong positions in 2024’s rankings.”

The full list is available to view on the Newmark website.

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