Retail specialist Harper Dennis Hobbs has ranked 1,000 retail centres across Britain after researching the quality of their retail offer.
In Cheshire their study has shown that Stockton Heath, ranked at 237, beats Warrington, ranked at 405. Knutsford, ranked at 108, beats Macclesfield, 680, Altrincham, 554 and Northwich, 439. Leaving aside major cities like Manchester and Liverpool, or specialist retail centres like the Trafford Centre, only Chester, ranked at 43, beats the small towns and villages.
Harper Dennis Hobbs don’t rate places like Lymm, Culcheth or Frodsham as being big enough to include in their “Vitality Index.”
The index ranks all retail centres in Britain by quantifying the “retail health” of each centre. Vitality is measured through: The proportion of up-market shops, the proportion of value-led shops, the vacancy rate and the proportion of “undesirable” shops – such as pawnbrokers, money lenders and bookmakers.
In addition, these variables are also compared to the demographic composition of the centre’s catchment area and a greater score is given to areas whose retail mix is optimally adapted to the local community.