Vitality Rankings 2021 – Beaconsfield named as Britain’s leading retail destination


Beaconsfield has been named as Britain’s leading shopping location according to new Harper Dennis Hobbs research ranking the nation’s best performing retail centres.

The Buckinghamshire market town topped 1,000 retail centres compiled by HDH. To read the full analysis, download the Vitality Rankings report below.

According to several factors, 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.

Beaconsfield is one of many smaller, accessible, commuter-belt towns, such as Henley-on-Thames and Tenterden, which have outperformed city centre destinations as consumers’ shopping habits have become very localised as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top 10

2021 Rank Retail Centre Region 2019 Rank Change
1 Beaconsfield South East 64 +63
2 Henley-on-Thames South East 28 +26
3 Tenterden South East 39 +36
4 Wimbledon Village Greater London Authority 7 +3
5 Marlborough South West 10 +5
6 Sevenoaks South East 30 +24
7 Kingston upon Thames Greater London Authority 20 +14
8 Berkhamsted East of England 14 +6
9 Harpenden East of England 139 +130
10 Ilkley Yorkshire and the Humber 29 +19

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

“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.”

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Thank you for your interest in the 2021 Vitality Rankings. Please fill in the form below to download the full report.

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