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Manchester is UK sneaker capital, Nike is key brand says study

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today Jan 16, 2019
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​Any sneaker business seeking to boost its sales in the UK should be focusing on Manchester above all other cities. That's the takeaway from a new study from casual footwear retailer The Sole Supplier.


The Sole Supplier



It looked at Britain’s 20 largest cities and ranked them for their sneaker culture, judging the quality of their shoe shops, search traffic for popular trainers on Google, hype around new releases and the number of visitors to its own website.

Manchester was the clear leader with an 8.49 score out of 10. London was only in second place and was some way behind, scoring 5.77. Nottingham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne came next (5.43 and 5.41 respectively) with Liverpool in fifth place, scoring 4.82. The rest of the top 10 were Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham, Sheffield and Coventry with none of them scoring less that 4.07.

The company said that Manchester’s leading position was boosted by high marks for the number of sneaker-related Google searches and hype-levels around new releases. London had failed to take the top spot as it was “let down mainly by the quality of its shoe shops.”

In fact, the top ranked city for the quality of its shoe shops was Belfast with a perfect score of 10, although it was dragged down in the overall ranking by low hype around high-heat releases.

Sole Supplier also said that Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool have the biggest ‘hypebeasts’ searching for the most anticipated trainer drops, such as the Off-White x Nike Air Jordan 1 ‘White’ and the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colourways.

Meanwhile, further down the league table, Edinburgh just missed out on a top 10 place, while Bristol and Leeds came next and both scored less than 4. Leicester, Cardiff, Brighton, Sunderland, Bradford and Hull all managed a weak score between 2.22 and 2.72 but bottom-ranked Stoke on Trent only managed 1.83.

Sole Supplier CEO George Sullivan said: “The UK has become a nation of sneakerheads as streetwear becomes the era-defining style. When it comes to brand loyalty, the UK’s largest cities all pledged allegiance to Nike in 2018, based on traffic to The Sole Supplier release pages, except Glaswegians who were most keen to get their hands on the Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas Grey.”

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