SHOPPERS in Leamington are being met with a different high street to the one they knew pre-Covid.
New data from Ordnance Survey shows how the face of town centres have changed over the past two years.
Nationwide, the data reveals beauty salons and tattoo parlours prospered between March 2020 and March 2022, while traditional shops and department stores struggled, as shopping habits changed with more people buying online.
Places to eat and drink also flourished nationally despite long periods of social distancing.
Analysis by the BBC allows readers to search by postcode the ten closest ‘high streets’ to see the impact locally.
Leamington town centre reflected the nationwide increase in beauty services, from nail bars to barbers, recording nine new such businesses during the two years – taking the total to 91.
The town’s ten high streets – Royal Priors upper and lower malls, Parade, Warwick Street, Park Street, Regent Street, Bedford Street, Livery Street, Regent Grove and Clarendon Street – also saw a reduction in retail shops in line with the trend nationally. There was a decrease of four per cent – slightly more than the three per cent nationally – down 18 from the 412 shops open in March 2020.
There was a marked fall in the number of clothes shops as 34 closed their doors – an 18 per cent fall.
And while restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars and fast food outlets saw a four per cent rise nationally, the picture in Leamington was very different with a reduction in all sectors – with 19 fewer, a decrease of nine per cent.
The picture for Kenilworth and Warwick was not as clear, as the top ten high streets by postcode for the respective towns also included some of those in Leamington.
Neighbouring Stratford fared better during the two lockdowns.
It recorded exactly the same number of retail outlets, and seven more food and drink outlets – taking the total to 123.
The number of beauty services also rocketed – with 11 more taking the total to 77 – up 17 per cent compared to the national average of 5.9 per cent.
Visit www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-63799670 to see your postcode data.