Swindon the most affordable place in the UK to open a physical shop, research reveals

By Nick Batten on 9 November, 2022

Analysis by Small Business Prices – a website that helps SMEs to find and compare accurate pricing information – has found that Swindon is the cheapest place overall for small business owners to open a brick-and-mortar shop.

Online businesses became popular during the country’s various Covid-19 lockdowns, and now that the retail world has reopened its doors many of these small business owners are considering opening their own physical stores.

Small Business Prices set out to explore the country’s cheapest cities to open a physical shop, based on metrics such as daily high street footfall, commercial space rental costs, and average hourly rates of contractors like plumbers and electricians. 

Finding a premises to operate out of is relatively affordable compared to other towns and cities in the ranking, with the average price of renting a commercial space in Swindon being £14,120 per month.

Hiring builders, electricians, painter-decorators, and plumbers to get the shop in working order is also more affordable in Swindon than anywhere else the study analysed, with each of these professionals charging the lowest hourly rate for their services. 

Swindon is also revealed as the best location to hire local contractors to help set up and create your physical shop, costing an average of £115 an hour to have the support of a builder, electrician, painter, plumber and handyman. 

London is the most expensive city to have the support of tradespeople, costing an average of £209 per hour, with plumbers valuing their work the most at an average of £50 an hour.

Alongside these findings, the research revealed that Stoke-on-Trent has the lowest commercial space rental costs, averaging £6,510 per month and Manchester is the cheapest city to buy a commercial space, with the average cost being £50,000.

Ian Wright, Founder of Small Business Prices, said, “Whilst the research shows that there are certain UK cities that are cheaper to open a brick-and-mortar shop in than others, there are many factors that SMEs should consider before deciding on a location. One of the main things is meeting demand and ensuring you are in the right location to serve your ideal customer. If this can go hand in hand with a cheap location, SMEs will find they will easily be able to maximise their financial capital.” 

Find the full analysis here.