This small seaside town has been named the best shopping destination in Wales

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Prestatyn High Street -Credit:Hadyn Iball / North Wales Live

A small seaside resort has been crowned the best shopping destination in Wales. This year, Prestatyn in Denbighshire took the top spot in Wales through rankings that use metrics to evaluate the offerings of towns and cities across the UK, including factors such as retail quality, shopper demographics, footfall, and vacancy rates.

Despite many places struggling in recent years, this seaside town has thrived according to vitality rankings, with its successful retail park complementing a diverse mix of retail and hospitality sites on the high street. It's even managed to attract big names like Marks & Spencer and Next from neighbouring Rhyl, whose high street has faced challenges over the past decade.

While Prestatyn was the highest-ranked in Wales, it came 134th in the overall UK vitality league table, compiled annually by Newmark's Consultancy and Analytics team. This is an improvement from its ranking of 143 in 2022.

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Wales' overall ranking was less impressive, with an average rank of just over 700 out of a list of 1,000 town and city centres. However, this still represents an improvement of 47 places compared to the previous table in 2022, reports North Wales Live.

The other locations in the top five for Wales were Cardiff, Monmouth, Ruthin, and Blackwood. Notably, Denbighshire had two locations in the top spots, with the market town of Ruthin coming in fourth.

Newmark has yet to publish the entire array of 1,000 centres from its list, but Prestatyn, Cardiff, and Monmouth were the only Welsh sites that made it onto the top 200. For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter

Parc Prestatyn retail park. Image: David Powell/North Wales Live
Parc Prestatyn retail park -Credit:Daily Post Wales
Sheep graze the slopes of Prestatyn Hillside SSSI overlooking the resort. They were brought in after AONB staff, Denbighshire Countryside Service and volunteers cleared an area around the hill’s Scheduled Ancient Monument
Sheep graze the slopes of Prestatyn Hillside -Credit:Denbighshire Council

James Ebel, vice chairman of Retail UK and EMEA, said: "Whilst footfall might be slightly lower than pre-Covid levels in some major city and town centres due to hybrid working, sales have recently recovered to or bettered 2019 values for many tenants trading in these areas. Consequently, many prime retail destinations across the UK have experienced a welcome return to the top positions.

"Some locations have been held back in the 2024 rankings. They have seen increased vacancy rates, as high street chains and independents alike have suffered during a tough trading period and left empty units throughout Britain's high streets, whilst the cost of living crisis is constraining shopper expenditure in less affluent areas.

"However, the 'waves of creative destruction' that result from periods of economic and social turmoil provide opportunities for new brands and concepts. Online brands are taking their first steps onto the high street; successful occupiers are expanding into new territories; and new offers are finding space where it was previously unavailable.

"Therefore whilst many centres have returned to their pre-pandemic levels of vitality, others provide the opportunity for regeneration and renewal both for the centres themselves and occupiers that trade in them."