It’s the most wonderful time of year and if, like us, you are usually prone to leaving your shopping til the last minute it might be good to get ahead and plan your assault on the shops with weeks still to go this year.
If you’ve no idea where to start then don’t worry, JD has conducted some extensive research on the best regions to shop this festive season to help you out.
JD took data from all major shopping centres in the UK to conclude the best locations to shop, to park your car, get food whilst you shop and where has the longest opening hours and found some insightful results.
Taking three star ratings out of 5 from three third party sets of data and averaging out the results gave us a final list of the best rated places to shop from a customer satisfaction perspective.
The South West came top of all areas of the UK, with the happiest shoppers overall at an impressive 4.5 star average.
The full list in order can be seen below:
Rating out of 5 stars by region:
(Star ratings were rounded off to the nearest decimal place and ordered by highest to lowest according to those scores)
For all of our nationwide analysed shopping centres we noted the stores on offer and used this to build a bigger picture of the store offerings across all regions within the UK. The results showed some regions to be much more prominent for certain gifts than others.
The North West proved to offer the most variety when buying Toys and Games, as well as being the best place to pick up some food to refuel on your shopping mission. Not bad if you like to combine the two.
Greater London was bound to do well based on the sheer number of shops, coming top for Health and Beauty buys as well as Fashion, but it did not sweep the board for biggest selections.
Perhaps, surprisingly, Wales fared well, giving the biggest choice for Tech and Homeware collectively. Northern Ireland had the most limited selection across the board, which is understandable when compared against the size of other regions, but it did however come third for it’s fashion offering.
Of course, one key factor to nailing your shopping is ensuring the shops are open long enough to shop around a busy work or life schedule. If you want to head to an area where you know you’ll get the most chance to shop then you’re best off heading to the North East, where stores are open an average of 73.5 hours a week. This was followed in second place by the North West at 72.16 hours, making North England in general a good option for shopping. The East, unfortunately, showed the shortest hours at 61.75 per week typically.
The sizes for all major shopping centres were averaged out to give an idea of which region offers the biggest shopping spaces of all. The North West fared best overall, with an average size of 158,084 m2 per store.
From this we were able to compare whether bigger stores were generally rated better and the results proved they were not. The below graph shows comparison of store size per rating to show that the smaller stores were generally rated higher.
Data also assessed open times impact on size of the store, whether a store being bigger meant it was generally open longer which was proven. This makes sense due to the bigger the store, the more time being required to browse.
Data showed the worst rated region generally had the shortest opening hours. This did not translate to the best however as the top rated stores fell in the middle of general opening hours per week.
Based on what was found, the prime opening hours to ensure a good customer satisfaction rating were between 65 – 67 hours per week.
The number of average parking spaces was compared against average customer rating per region to see if available parking had a direct impact on customer satisfaction. The results show in more cases than not, regions with better parking availability were more likely to be scored highly against those with less parking, bar one anomaly, Northern Ireland has the least parking but one of the highest average rating which could be comparable to population representation.
There was no direct correlation found between time spent shopping and the store ratings of each region. The study also compared whether opening hours meant shoppers generally spent longer in store.
The results showed there was no direct link between opening hours and time spent shopping, meaning just because stores were open later this didn’t translate to people spending longer there overall, however, this isn’t taking into consideration times of day visited.
Overall, there were benefits for most regions in the UK, so we’re sure you will get your shopping for Christmas Day, whether that’s shopping Black Friday Deals online or popping into store.