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Bay storms into top 50 retail hotspots in country

Herne Bay town centre - "People are benefiting from the higher quality of life by the sea"
Herne Bay town centre – “People are benefiting from the higher quality of life by the sea”

Herne Bay is one of the hottest retail locations outside central London, a business magazine has revealed. Property Week compiled a list of the top 100 places and Herne Bay was rated at number 31, four places above Whitstable. Assessments were carried out by specialists CACI, and assesses current and potential strengths. Consultant John Platt told the magazine that Herne Bay has an older and more affluent population who move to the coast or buy second homes for their retirement. He said:

“They are benefiting from the higher quality of life by the sea and the ability to still commute to London and surrounding towns. We have already seen a rise in independent boutiques, coffee shops and artisan bakeries as many of these high-ranking towns try to reposition themselves and serve the new demand. Those that align their offer with the changing demographic of the town will be the ones that see the biggest success.”

Lynn Gibson
Lynn Gibson
Lynn Gibson, who owns clothes shop Dance Wardrobe in Mortimer Street, switched from Whitstable to Herne Bay two years ago. She said:

“I was a forced out of Whitstable because of high rents, but in Herne Bay I have a growing business. If I was in Whitstable I would be paying double what I do here so coming to Herne Bay was the best move I ever made.”

Bournemouth and Exmouth topped the magazine’s rankings, while Broadstairs and Margate also featured in the top 100. Property Week editor Liz Hamson said:

“What makes the list so fascinating is the number of gritty, historically down-at-heel locations on it, and the number of coastal towns. The tests have been weighted to focus on the retail potential of a location as well as how strongly it is already performing.”

Nigel Hancock
Nigel Hancock
The report has been welcomed by business advisor Nigel Hancock, who helps Herne Bay’s independent retailers to market themselves to new customers. He said:

“Obviously, I’m very pleased with how Herne Bay performed. It’s indicative of all the hard work which has gone in from various local groups to put the town back on its feet. We are seeing a lot of niche type shops, and when you look at the successful towns, that’s what they are doing.”

For the full top 100 hot retail towns you can see an interactive map by visiting www.propertyweek.com/data/hot-100-retail-towns

Herne Bay Gazette, November 20th 2014

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