The number of start-ups in the UK is constantly increasing, and it's showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. In 2016, nearly 660,000 new companies were established; up from 608,000 in 2015. In a national campaign named 'Start-Up Britain', powered by NatWest Bank, it is claimed that in January 2018 alone, a staggering 46,291 start-ups were created - equating to almost a staggering 1,500 per day in the 31 days of January.

The data only goes to show that the number of start-ups will continue to grow at such a rapid pace for the rest of the year, despite challenges Britain will face, such as Brexit. As a result, online British marketplace, OnBuy, considered where the best place would be to launch a retail start-up is, utilising the 'Business Clusters Map' provided by OPUS Energy. OnBuy considered 10 cities in the UK, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff, and considered four main factors:

  1. Which city has the highest retail spend, per head, per year?
  2. What city has the highest average wage for a 'Retail Store Manager'?
  3. Which city employs the highest number of employees?
  4. In what city are you most likely to get a bargain for your retail premises, per square foot?

"Throughout the UK, cities spend more than £300 per head..."

Which city in the UK spends the most?

Throughout the UK, cities spend more than £300 per head, to as little as £184. OnBuy pinpointed the average spend for the 10 main cities.

Birmingham came out on top, with a staggering £313 per person, per year, and was closely followed by the northern city of the Geordies, Newcastle, where the average person spends just over £300 (£303). Leeds ranked in third place, with a total of £282, followed by the Scottish capital of Edinburgh (£272). Most surprisingly, London came fifth, with the average Londoner spending £262 per head, per year - £51 less than Birmingham.

On the other hand, the cities that spend the least in the retail sector are Glasgow (£257) Liverpool (£229) and Manchester (£225). Bristol ranked last, with individuals spend a mere £184 in the retail industry, each year, followed by the Welsh capital of Cardiff, spending just over £200 (£219).

Shopping centre

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What city has the highest wage for a 'Retail Store Manager'?

Wages vary from city to city - particularly for more skilled professions, compared to administrative desk roles. According to job search site, Monster, the average wage for Londoners is a respectable £35,053, compared to workers in the city of Birmingham who earn just £26,752 on average - £8,301 less. OnBuy looked at the data on OPUS energy's interactive map, with data extracted from analysing job search website "Indeed", and concluded that the best place to employed as a 'Retail Store Manager' is in London, with an average salary of almost £27,000.

The average annual salary for a 'Retail Store Manager' in London is £26,858, which is followed by the Scottish city of Glasgow, almost one thousand pounds less than the London salary, at £25,685. The Welsh city of Cardiff trails just behind Glasgow, with a salary of £25,025, then Liverpool (£24,990) and Birmingham (£24,566). On the other end of the scale, employees in the South-Western city of Bristol earn £6,820 less than Londoners, earning an annual salary of £20,038. Bristol is followed by Leeds (£20,961), Manchester (£23,131), Newcastle (£23,596) and Edinburgh (£23,945).


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Which city employs the most retail workers?

It is a given that larger cities tend to employ more workers, however, OnBuy sought to find out exactly how many retail workers are hired in each city, each year, on average. Perhaps unsurprisingly, London came out on top once again, hiring almost half a million employees every year - 380,000 less than Newcastle, who came last.

London hires a staggering 400,000 employees each year. Birmingham has 83% less, hiring a mere 70,000. After this, the difference in numbers amongst cities in the UK isn't too dissimilar. In third placed is Leeds, with the city, on average, hiring 54,000 employees per year. Leeds was followed swiftly by Glasgow (48,000), Manchester (44,000), Bristol (38,000), Edinburgh (36,000) and Liverpool (36,000). The city of Liverpool, located in the North West of England, was followed by the Welsh capital, hiring just under 30,000 employees each year (29,000), and in last place is Newcastle, employing just 20,000.


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What city has the cheapest premises, per square foot?

Perhaps the most important part of starting up your own retail business is finding an office space for it to prosper. The price of retail premises differs significantly from city to city, with some asking for more than £100 per square foot, compared to just £50 in other vicinities. OnBuy's research concluded that, as like most properties in the area, London has the highest cost of retail premises per square foot, with agents asking for a staggering £127.14. However, Liverpool has the cheapest, at just £55.31 per square foot - £71.83 less than London.

After Liverpool, the Welsh city of Cardiff will require a business to pay, on average, around £61.13, followed by £61.89 for the North-East city of Newcastle. Following the Geordie city is Leeds (£67.46), Bristol (£71.02), Birmingham (£71.18) and Manchester (£71.20). However, the Scottish city of Edinburgh asks for a staggering £75.99 - but it is still a substantial £51.15 less than London.


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