THE HIGH street in Stratford survived Covid better than most.
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 months of social distancing.
Analysis by the BBC allows readers to search by postcode the ten closest ‘high streets’ to see the impact locally.
Stratford’s ten – Bridge Street, Bell Court, High Street, Sheep Street, Wood Street, Union Street, Meer Street, Rother Street, Henley Street and Greenhill Street – recorded exactly the same number of retail outlets over the two years and two lockdowns.
But the number of beauty services, from nail bars to barbers, in the town rocketed – with 11 more taking the total to 77 – up 17 per cent compared to the national average of 5.9 per cent.
And while restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars and fast food outlets saw a four per cent rise nationally, Stratford saw an increase of six per cent, with seven more taking the total to 123.
The picture for Alcester, Henley and Shipston was not as clear, as the top ten high streets by postcode for the respective towns also included some of those in nearby towns.
Neighbouring Leamington did not fare as well.
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.
And while it saw an 11 per cent increase in beauty services, in contrast to the national trend, it actually suffered a nine per cent fall in food and drink outlets.
There was also marked fall in the number of clothes shops in Leamington as 34 closed their doors – an 18 per cent fall – compared to Stratford which had three more shops this March than it had two years previously.
Visit www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-63799670 to see your postcode data.