Newcastle & Birmingham top UK ranking for fashion spend

15 September 2016

Shoppers in Newcastle and Birmingham spent more on fashion over the last 12 months than those in any of the UK’s other top 10 cities*, averaging £304 and £313 per head respectively, according to new research from Savills and intu.  By contrast, shoppers in Bristol spent the least at just £184 per head.

The Spotlight: Retail Revolutions report, which analysed shopping habits by both location and age, found that the highest fashion spend came from Generation X (35 to 44 year olds) in Newcastle, which averaged £581 over the last 12 months.  This was followed by Liverpool’s Baby Boomers who spent £507 per head on fashion over the same period.

Sean Gillies, head of UK retail at Savills, comments: “Disposable income is the key to determining fashion spend.  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 compared to their generational counterparts in Glasgow and Edinburgh, who spent £436 and £413 respectively.”

When looking to the future, London has the strongest outlook for fashion spend with 41% of consumers reporting positive sentiment, while Liverpool reported the weakest sentiment with just 22% of shoppers expecting to increase their fashion spend over the next 12 months.  Across all 10 cities, the younger Generations Z (16 to 24 year olds) and Y were more positive than their older counterparts about increasing future spend.  Generation Y in Birmingham displayed the most positive sentiment of all groups, with 85.1% expecting to spend more on fashion over the 12 months ahead. 

The report also highlights a correlation between shoppers’ satisfaction with the local fashion retail offer and online fashion spend.  In Cardiff, where 84% of shoppers are satisfied, online accounts for just 25% of fashion spend.  By contrast, in Birmingham and London where consumers were least satisfied with their local retail offer, online accounted for 40% and 39% of total fashion spend respectively.

Kate Grant, regional director, intu, says: “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. 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.”

Tom Whittington, commercial research director at Savills, adds: “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.  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.”

Figure 9

*The cities included in the analysis were London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


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Sean Gillies

Sean Gillies

Head of UK Retail

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Tom Whittington

Tom Whittington

Commercial Research


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