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Top 25 Christmas shopping destinations in the UK

Monday 16 December 2019 Demographic DataShopping Behaviour

Rachael Bedford's picture
By Rachael Bedford

When I think about Christmas shopping, there are two scenarios that spring to mind. The first being a truly magical experience – wrapped up in coats, drinking mulled wine and a choir singing carols in the background whilst I pick up lovely handmade presents for my friends and family. The second scenario (which is probably the more accurate) is the frantic run around on Christmas Eve to try and buy the remaining presents that I have not got around to buying.

But where do people really want to shop during the festive period? And do they travel further to visit a more ‘festive’ or convenient location?

CACI have pulled together the Property Week Hot 100 Retail Locations which looks at how catchments change over different periods of the year. In this case we have pulled together a list of the top 25 shopping centres or destinations who attract people from further away and significantly grow their catchments during the Christmas period.

Regional Shopping Centres (e.g. Meadowhall, Bluewater, Lakeside etc) typically grow their catchment during the festive period. These centres go all out in order to attract people to spend a festive day with them and do some Christmas shopping at the same time. Attractions such as Grottos, Choirs, Apres “Ski” Bars, Christmas concerts and Ice Rinks spring up at centres like this. In addition, the fact that these shopping centres have lots of different retailers under one roof could make Christmas present shopping more convenient for people.

These centres go all out in order to attract people to spend a festive day with them and do some Christmas shopping at the same time

In central London, we only see Knightsbridge significantly growing their catchment over Christmas. This area is more likely to bring in tourists from further away and is located next to London’s biggest Christmas Market – Winter Wonderland.

Some towns significantly increase their catchment over Christmas, like Stockton-on-Tees. This town, not far from Middlesbrough hosts ‘Stockton Sparkles’ over the Christmas period which includes a market, carols and reindeer parade. Winchester also hosts one of the top 10 UK Christmas markets, and therefore brings in a larger catchment during this period. All the town and city centres listed on the top 25 all have some kind of Christmas market or events, which help these high streets to bring in more shoppers during this time. These markets offer more personalised and handmade items that could appeal to present hunters to give to friends and family.

In summary, from the list of areas that do significantly well over Christmas, we see that festive fun is key. Landlords need to be thinking about how they can attract “Christmas Enthusiasts” for their catchments to grow during this time. Shopping centres are competing with Christmas markets, as well as Online with the rising importance of Black Friday, making this period ever more competitive.

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At CACI we have pulled together the Property Week Hot 100 Retail Locations which looks at how catchments change over different periods of the year. In this case we have pulled together a list of the top 25 shopping centres or destinations who attract people from further away and significantly grow their catchments during the Christmas period

Top 25 Christmas shopping destinations in the UK