Teesside town named as best place for shopping in the North-east in new ranking

Yarm High Street
Yarm High Street -Credit:Teesside Live

Yarm has been named as the best place to shop in the North-east according to a new ranking.

The town was named the 43rd best retail centre across the nation on Newmark Retail's annual Vitality Rankings, which looks at over 1,000 shopping destinations to determine the health of high streets. A range of factors are looked at, including footfall figures, retail unit vacancy rate, the change in vacancy rate, space being adapted for other uses, and shopper spending per year.

Yarm was not only named as one of the county’s ‘healthiest’ spots for retail but was the only location on Teesside to make the top 100 of Newmark Retail's list for 2024. Other than Yarm and Newcastle (80th), the other top retail centres in the North-east were Morpeth (100th), and Washington and Darlington, which didn't make the top 100.

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The face of Yarm High Street has changed significantly in recent years. Several chains and units have moved away from the High Street - such as The House, Bauer at Home, and Joules - while others have moved in, such as the recently opened Card Factory.

Last year, Yarm also lost its final bank, Barclays, but Italian eatery La Piazza, from Richmond, is set hoping to expand to Yarm with a new restaurant in the currently vacant unit. There's also been the expansion of Luna Blu cocktail bar, and the introduction of Arabian Nights to name just a few.

Documents stated: "The locations ranked 26th to 50th exhibited more variation compared to the top 25. Last year, this group featured more retail hubs which were thriving at the time on “staycations” and day trips.City centres have performed well over the past year, buoyed by a significant influx of shoppers. These areas are not just shopping hubs; they also attract visitors for dining and socialising."

On a national level, Cambridge City Centre took the top spot of the ranking, followed by Cobham in the South-east, and London spots including Wimbledon Village, Sloane Street, and Kingston-upon-Thames.

While major towns across the region were not named in the ranking, there's certainly hope they could feature on a future list, with Middlesbrough and Stockton both currently undergoing massive transformation projects.

Last year, Teesside Live reported how Stockton's Wellington Square was almost at full occupancy, following the demolition of the Castlegate and the former Swallow Hotel. Meanwhile, in Middlesbrough, there is huge redevelopment ongoing at Captain Cook Square, with a string of new venues set to open soon.

Does this news come as a shock to you? Did you think other locations on Teesside would appear in the top 100? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

You can see the full Newmark Retail Vitality Rankings 2024 here.

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