A NEW national retail index has ranked Redditch higher than locations such as Worcester, Solihull and Brighton because of the town's popularity among shoppers.

Ben Truslove, joint managing director at Redditch commercial property agency John Truslove, was speaking after the publication of Property Week’s Hot Retail Index 2020.

This data report placed the thriving North Worcestershire town as the 54th most resilient retail location in the UK, despite the impact of Covid-19.

Mr Truslove said: “Here in Redditch, the shopping centre, high street and popular precincts are set to survive simply because retailers know there is a strong marketplace just waiting to recover once near-normality returns.

“Put simply, there are so many healthy businesses in Redditch which benefit from such a captive audience of shoppers from the likes of Bromsgrove, Pershore, Droitwich, Barnt Green, south Birmingham and countless other well-heeled areas.

“Retailers also enjoy more reasonable rents for larger spaces here in Redditch, and that financial aspect blended together with its strong and well-known supply of customers will keep it in good shape.”

Redditch has been a popular shopping destination for decades, with scores of retailers based in places like the established Kingfisher Shopping Centre and the more modern spaces in The Quadrant development.

Mr Truslove added: “Yes, the pandemic has had a profound impact on the UK’s retail landscape, with thousands of stores temporarily closing during the lockdowns, and some permanently closing as retailers go under or enter into administration or CVAs.

“And yes, like any other area, the temporary lockdowns have presented challenges for Redditch, with some inevitable closures.

“But I believe the town has been placed at 54th on the national index because the retail sector knows its strong overall offering will give it the resilience to survive once restrictions are lifted.

“Hopefully in December the government will end the lockdown and at that stage the tens of thousands of shoppers who love to spend in Redditch every day will return.

“Receiving such a high place on Property Week’s Hot Retail Index 2020 is recognition that Redditch will weather this storm and return as one of retailers’ dream locations.”