Retail in South Lakeland
The market towns, tourist 'honey-pots' and rural villages of South Lakeland are home to a retail sector as diverse as you could wish for, where independent traders sit alongside the national brand names you would expect in high streets up and down the country.
The Lake District is truly a year-round destination but, as you would expect, during holiday seasons and the warmer months the visitor numbers to towns and villages within the National Park swell considerably, increasing the footfall for attractions and traders alike.
Kendal is the largest town in South Lakeland and its mostly pedestrianised town centre is a location where shoppers may wander between the historic 'Yards' and Market Place, through modern shopping centre areas. Kendal is home to K Village, a purpose-built retail facility of modern and spacious construction home to well-known brands, such as Clarks factory shop. Here you will also find Westmorland Shopping Centre, Elephant Yard and Blackhall Yard.
The 'Festival Town' of Ulverston is the second largest town in South Lakeland and, like Kendal, boasts a bright and colourful town centre of historic yards and 'ginnels', with an impressive array of independent retailers of just about every denomination: fashion boutiques, book shops, a wool shop, a clock maker and repairer, jewellers and more besides, including a thriving Market Hall.
The picturesque towns and villages around South Lakeland (Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere, Hawkshead, Coniston, Kirkby Lonsdale and Cartmel, for example) all provide a diverse and pleasant shopping experience with a rich diversity of independent stores to suit just about every taste and interest.
South Lakeland is the home of Lakeland, a family-owned and operated retailer which has grown to over 50 stores in the UK and is currently expanding into the Middle and Far East. Established in 1963, it has remained loyal to its South Lakeland roots where the three brothers who run the business grew up and where Head Office, main distribution warehouse and flagship store (in Windermere) are based.
The 'Mill Yard' in Staveley is perfectly positioned at the foot of the Kentmere valley and the Lakeland fells. It is a destination for cyclists of both the mountain bike and road cycling persuasion, boasting one of the UK's largest cycle stores, Wheelbase.
The award-winning and much acclaimed Booths has frequently been referred to as the 'Waitrose of the North', and the family-run Lancashire retailer now has food stores in South Lakeland – Kendal, Windermere, Ulverston, Kirkby Lonsdale and Milnthorpe. Booths' success is due, in no small part, to their championing of local producers, with high quality and unique food from South Lakeland available from each of their stores.
Retail space is often available throughout the region with scope for the development of new trading units on brownfield and change-of-use sites. South Lakeland District Council runs a Land and Premises Register, which provides details on business and retail space available to buy and rent throughout the area. Click the link to begin searching the Land and Premises Register.
Key points in summary:
- Broad diversity of local independent traders and national high-street chains.
- Historic towns and picturesque villages offer an attractive retail experience.
- Opportunities for new retail premises within the existing built environment.
- Healthy footfall and visitor numbers throughout South Lakeland including the National Parks.
- Diverse, eclectic and vibrant shopping experience to be enjoyed.