Altrincham has been named as one of Britain’s leading shopping locations according to major new research.
The town ranked as the nation’s 37th best performing locations in a list of 1,000 retail centres compiled by strategic retail property consultancy, Harper Dennis Hobbs.
Altrincham climbed an incredible 440 places compared to last year’s rankings – the biggest jump of any place in the country.
The HDH Vitality Ranking determines the health of high streets and shopping centres, including the change in residents’ movement, vacancy rates and suitability to local consumers’ demands.
The research pointed to £60million in investment as the reason behind Altrincham’s resurgence, which had included the refurbishment of the market, transport interchange and other public realm improvements.
The news comes with most of Altrincham’s shops currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions – but is a reminder of how far the town had come before the enforced closure.
Buckinghamshire market town Beaconsfield topped the list, followed by Henley-on-Thames, Tenterden, Wimbledon Village and Marlborough.
The only North West towns ahead of Altrincham on the ranking were Chester (20th) and Knutsford (30th).
Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at HDH, said: “Our analysis is unique as we use variables that both consumers and retailers consider when assessing shopping locations to rank the top 1,000 retail centres in Great Britain. This Vitality Ranking looks very different from previous years as the ‘retail health’ of high streets across the country has seen contrasting fortunes since the start of the pandemic.
“The most vital retail centres currently provide services that are essential to people’s lives, such as grocers and pharmacies. These essential retailers have been able to trade throughout the strictest lockdowns, and consumers have not been willing or able to travel far to visit these stores. Shopping patterns have therefore changed significantly since the start of the pandemic, and consumers’ local high streets are benefitting at the expense of major destinations.”