Data Reveals Cities Where Fashion Retail Is Still Alive

By carrie gilbertson05/08/2022
Clothes shop

Fashion retailing has been on the rocks for a long time. As an industry that is completely dictated by trends, it makes sense to keep on top of what it is your customers are currently loving. It’s also hugely important to understand what is going on industry-wide as many shops make the move to solely trading online and leave the high street.

The latest report by the Displaysense team uncovers which regions fashion is still alive in, so you know the most promising places to focus your efforts on in the coming years.

The cities with the biggest retail districts

According to our data, these are the cities that have the highest numbers of clothes shops.

cities with the most clothes shops

1. Durham

The beautiful and historic city of Durham sits in the North East of England, and has a small population of 47,785, but a thriving retail centre. It is both unique and full of opportunities.*

2. Salford

With a population of 72,750, the soulful city of Salford is packed with retail opportunities that shouldn’t be missed. It’s a stone’s throw from Manchester, making it the perfect opportunity for eagle-eyed investors.*

3. St Albans

St Albans is a gorgeous cathedral city residing in Hertfordshire. It is full of landmarks, and despite its smaller population, is a thriving place for fashion retail.

4. Chelmsford

The city of Chelmsford is just north east of London. It’s a lively place to be with plenty of unique businesses in its centre, and it has the 4th highest number of clothes shops in the UK.

5. Exeter

Nestled in the South West of England, Exeter is a city packed with historic Roman features, and according to our data, it is the 5th best place to be if you love clothes shopping.

6. Peterborough

Peterborough is 6th on our list. Home to historic buildings and architecture, this city in the east has plenty of clothing shops for visitors to enjoy. It’s certainly a picturesque setting to set up a fashion retail business in.

7. Portsmouth

The lovely coastal town of Portsmouth attracts thousands of visitors a year. Its rich maritime heritage means it is full of attractions, and it ranks 7th on our list.

8. Newcastle upon Tyne

One of the two Newcastle’s, this city has a reputation of being a university city and is home to the River Tyne. Its many attractions make it the perfect place for clothes shopping.

9. Bradford

Bradford is a pretty city in West Yorkshire and has the 9th most clothes shops in the UK according to our data. It has plenty of attractions, museums, and points of interest to visit.

10. Brighton and Hove

Paired together, Brighton and Hove make up a stunning seaside resort on the coast of England. Attracting visitors from all over the UK on a yearly basis, this location comes last in our top 10 list.

Regions with the most clothes shops

clothes shops per 100k

Regionally, our data revealed that Yorkshire, with a population of 5.5 million, is the region with the most clothes shops per capita.

south west

The South West comes second, with the West Midlands falling into third place. The East of England has the least clothes shops, with only 13.8 per 100k people.

regions with most shops


The top 3 cities of each region in the UK (based on highest populations) were selected, and Google maps data for ‘clothes shops in _’ was gathered to determine how many clothing retail shops there were in each city. It is important to note that not all shops will be registered in the Google Maps database, but this information gives us a good indication of which locations have higher numbers.

*London has been excluded from this data. Although the City of London has a thriving retail district, there is a comparatively small population within the city boundaries, which would make it the obvious winner. We wanted to look at cities outside of London to see how many clothes shops there were without skewing the data.


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