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Newport scores high in table of discount cities.

Byline: Rupert Hall Business Reporter rupert.hall@trinitymirror.com

Newport has been ranked as one of the top value store cities in the UK, according to figures released by the Callcredit Information Group.

Sunderland tops the table holding the highest percentage of discount stores in the UK, with more than a fifth of all stores (22.27%) fall into the "value" category.

Newport came second, with 19.51% of all stores classed as value shops, while Bradford (19.5%) came third.

The RetailVision Report uses data from more than 17,000 retail centres across the UK - including town centres, shopping centres and retail parks to provide a detailed picture of the UK's retail landscape.

This year the report reveals the UK's largest retail destinations continue to maintain retail revenues, against a backdrop of increasing competition from online retailers and pro-longed tough trading conditions.

Robert Twigg, commercial property partner at Newport law firm Everett Tomlin Lloyd & Pratt solicitors, said: "When larger, well established stores such as Marks & Spencer, leave town and city-centre locations in favour of out-of-town or edge-of-town retail parks such as has happened here in Newport, it tends to draw the life out of the high street because shoppers who may have also visited smaller shops while shopping at the larger ones, no longer come to the city centre.

"At the same time the recession has seen shoppers with less real income to spend seeking to make savings on their weekly shop.

"There has therefore been a marked growth in the number of discount retailers, keen to satisfy this demand, appearing on the high street.

"Only this week Poundland has announced plans to float on the stock market with a view to raising up to PS300m in order to finance a further significant expansion in the number of its stores.

"At the same time landlords, wishing to avoid liability for business rates on empty premises, are becoming more willing to let shops to charities.

"There is therefore a demand for value stores and charity shops and it is better to see these on the high street than boarded-up empty shops.

"The opening of the new Admiral Insurance office in Newport city centre will hopefully see an influx of office workers with money to spend in the local shops, bars and restaurants at lunch time and after work.

"In addition, if the proposed Friars Walk development happens we will see the likes of Debenhams opening and Next and Top Shop returning to the city centre, as well the opening of a cinema and a number of new restaurants.

"Hopefully this will give the con-fidence boost needed for other retailers to open stores to trade alongside the value stores and charity shops."

Chris Duley, director at Callcredit's GMAP retail planning team commented "Successful national and international retailers are continuing to extend their store footprint but the wider retail environment needs to be right to attract shoppers."

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Commercial Street in Newport City ... the city offers good value when it comes to discount stores according to figures from Callcredit Information Group
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 27, 2013
Words:510
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