Mixed feelings as Sunderland is listed top for bargain stores

editorial image
Have your say

BARGAIN hunters in Sunderland have made it one of the top cities in the country for discount shops, according to a new report.

Figures released by retail data experts Callcredit Information Group show that just over a fifth of all stores in the city, 20.94 per cent, are classed as “value shops”.

Only Blackpool recorded more, with 21.02 per cent.

The RetailVision 2012 report used data from 17,107 town centres, shopping centres and retail parks to provide a detailed picture of the national retail landscape. Only retail centres containing 200 or more stores were taken into consideration, with rankings based on the percentage of value stores in the area.

Bosses at Home Bargains, which has branches in Blandford Street, Sunderland, and The Galleries, Washington, said it was good news for bargain hunters on Wearside.

Joe Morris, operations manager of TJ Morris, which owns the stores, said: “It’s great to hear that Sunderland is now the UK’s second biggest centre for discount stores.

“We know from the feedback we receive that our customers appreciate being able to purchase top-branded goods at low-cost prices.

“We’re thrilled to hear that Home Bargains stores are helping to reshape the British high street and we’re proud to have a strong presence in Sunderland.”

Sunderland was ranked 119th, out of 17,107 retail centres, in the overall UK revenue league table, which was based on estimated takings from fashion, homeware, DIY and electrical stores.

The study showed the extent of the economic downturn, with revenues falling at nearly every major shopping district in the past year.

Out of the top 10 UK retail centres, only Knightsbridge saw a rise in estimated revenue.

In the top 10, Manchester retained its position as the largest retail centre outside London.

Knightsbridge came top of the “luxury” retail centres league table, with nearly half – 47.06 per cent – of all stores being classed in this category.

Nine of the top 10 luxury centres are in London and the South East, with Manchester in 10th place.

Chris Duley, commercial director at Callcredit Information Group, said: “The fact that revenues have fallen across nearly all of the top 10 retail centres in the past year illustrates just how difficult trading conditions are.

“Shoppers are cutting back, and retailers are bearing the brunt.

“It is also interesting to see some evidence of a North-South divide, with the majority of the top 10 centres for value stores in the North of the country, compared to the majority of luxury retailers being in the South.

“Retail is the lifeblood of the UK economy, but this year we have already seen a number of high-profile retailers fall into difficulties as a result of the current financial crisis.

“Our figures not only give insight into how retailers are currently faring, but can also help them weather the economic storm by determining the most suitable locations for their brands, which in the long-term will benefit the economy as a whole.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho