Harborough’s selection of supermarkets adds significant value to the town’s homes - according to research published by Lloyds Bank.
Peter Buckingham, diresctor of residential sales at Andrew Granger & Co, says the access to ‘premium’ stores like Waitrose makes the town more desirable to live in.
He said: “The top performing supermarket in terms of pushing up house prices is Waitrose, adding up to £43,000 to the price of your home.
“In fact, Harborough has four of the five supermarkets with the most impact – Sainsbury’s, Tesco and the Co-Op, lacking only Marks and Spencer from the big five.
“However, it’s not just specific supermarkets that make the town a desirable place to live. Research by American Express identified that people are also attracted to areas with a thriving range of independent shops.
“In fact, when I ask clients relocating to Harborough from London and other areas their reasons for choosing the town, they often cite the diverse range of independent shops combined with high street brands.
“It seems that convenience combined with quality is the ideal mix for many people.
“The arrival of respected brands such as Mint Velvet and Space NK that have recently opened or are about to open in the town has further enhanced the wealth of quality shopping experiences exemplified by retailers such as Joules who are crucial to the local economy - and have recently announced that they are building a new multi- million pound HQ on the edge of the town.
“This means that, in conjunction with online shopping, fewer people need to travel to Leicester or other shopping centres. In fact, with Leicester’s jewel in the retail crown John Lewis operating a free delivery and returns service to Harborough’s Waitrose, you could argue that people can get almost anything they want from shops in the town.
“And it’s not just the quality of the brands that are important: many retail experts highlight the importance of signage and colour in how a brand is perceived. Outlets such as Mint Velvet and the newly renovated County Crafts opt for a more neutral, low key frontage in contract that complements the High Street’s classic look, conveying a sense of quality and prestige. This contrasts with the brighter signage favoured by Joules who bring a splash of colour to the High Street and companies such as McDonald’s and Lidl whose aim is to be seen.
O”f course, there should be room for a variety of retail offerings. I believe that Harborough has the mix right and that is a powerful attraction for people when they are looking for the ideal place to live.”