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Birmingham & Newcastle: Top UK fashion spenders

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Those who think London firmly holds its title as fashion capital of the UK may need to think again, as shoppers in Birmingham and Newcastle were found to have spent the most on fashion over the past 12 months.

Shoppers in these cities spent more on fashion than consumers in any of the UK's other top ten cities, including Leeds, London and Manchester, with consumers in Birmingham and Newcastle spending 313 pounds and 304 pounds on average per head, according to new research from Savills and intu in collaboration with Verdict Research.

Shoppers in Bristol were the least keen on splashing out on fashion, with shopper spending a mere 184 pounds per head. Surprisingly, the highest fashion spend came from Generation X, 35 to 44 year olds in Newcastle, who averaged 581 pounds over the last 12 months. They were followed by Baby Boomers from Liverpool, who spent 507 pounds per head on fashion over the same period, according to The Spotlight: Retail Revolution report, which analysed shopping habits by both location and age.

Shoppers in Birmingham and Newcastle spend the most on fashion

"Disposable income is the key to determining fashion spend," commented Sean Gillies, head of UK retail at Savills in a statement. "While younger consumers shopped most frequently across all cities, spending is perhaps more constrained in those cities where living costs are highest. For example, Generation Y shoppers (25 to 34 year olds) in London spent 357 pounds compared to their generational counterparts in Glasgow and Edinburgh, who spent 436 pounds and 413 pounds respectively."

However, fashionistas in London were found to retain the strongest outlook for fashion spend when looking to future, as 41 percent of the respondents expected to boost their fashion spend over the next 12 months. Shoppers in Liverpool on the other hand reported the weakest sentiment, with a mere 22 percent of shoppers expecting to spend more on fashion in the year to come. Across all 10 of the UK cities surveyed, the younger Generations Z, 16 to 24 year olds, and Generations Y were found to be more positive about increasing their fashion spend in the future than their older counterparts. Generation Y in Birmingham were the most positive of all groups, with 85.1 percent expecting to spend more on fashion in the next year.

"The overall national picture is one of the younger Generation Y and Z being most satisfied with their local fashion offer and indeed this was mirrored in London, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool," added Tom Whittington, commercial research director at Savills. "However, Baby Boomers bucked the trend in the other six cities by being the most satisfied. There are clear opportunities for retailers to create a presence in areas where their target demographic is currently seeking something more to satisfy their fashion needs.”"

Shoppers found to spend more on fashion when satisfied by local fashion retail offering

In addition, the report also found a correlation between shoppers’ satisfaction with the local fashion retail offer and online fashion spend. For example, in Cardiff, where 84 percent of consumers are satisfied, online accounts for a mere 25 percent of fashion spend. In comparison, in London and Birmingham, where shoppers were least satisfied with their local retail offer, online accounted for 39 percent and 40 percent of total fashion spend respectively.

"Today’s shoppers have high expectations, and it’s our job as a shopping centre landlord to create and curate the right space and the right experience that will draw them in time and time again," concluded Kate Grant, regional director, intu. "It’s not simply a case of providing great retail brands, but also mixing these with great dining and leisure offerings alongside a superior experience, ensuring each of our guests leaves our centres with some happy memories and a desire to return soon. By doing this, we can help our tenants flourish."

Homepage photo: The Bullring, Birmingham. © Copyright Tom Pullman and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

Photo 2: Westfield London, own website

Photo 3: Cabot Circus, Bristol, Jongleur100, via Wikimedia Commons

Chart: Courtesy of Savills and intu.

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