As our firm has been part of the local business community in Chichester for decades, and located just away from the main high streets for much of that time, it was good to read that it has one of the top 5 most resilient high streets in the UK, according to Cushmans' new research report "UK High Streets: Dead or Alive?".
From a personal perspective, the big chains all seem to be present and move around town on lease events, rather than out of town. Independents close from time to time but are usually replaced. There are out of town retail parks but they don't seem to suck everything out of the high street. There are plenty of restaurants and some good pubs but the town does not turn into a battle scene from Lord of the Rings every Friday night.
Obviously the city has an affluent population, a cathedral (beautiful), the festival theatre, an amphitheatre (some grass), and is in a tourist area. Local businesses probably still face the problems with rates, parking charges, and the move to online, like everywhere else.
It is good to see though, given how important retail, leisure, and real estate are to the UK economy and how important town centres are to our society, that it is still possible to thrive.
Towns have been ranked according to each metric, with the final placing calculated from the sum of the individual rankings. Locations have then been assigned a town tier (1 to 5, of which 1 is the highest) based on their overall ranking, to enable a comparison with similar locations. On an individual town basis, Cambridge, Guildford, Bath, Chichester and Oxford were the high streets that showed the greatest resilience over the past decade. Conversely, Hamilton, Llandudno, Newport, Greenock, Ramsgate and Kilmarnock were at the bottom of the list of 250 sites.