Five Hertfordshire towns have made it onto Property Week’s list of hot 100 shopping destinations outside London, with two securing places in the top 10.

The county punched above its weight with Watford (3rd), Bishop’s Stortford (9th), Hitchin (56th), Letchworth (64th) and Welwyn Garden City (84th). The top retail destination went to the Dorset town of Bournemouth in the list compiled by location specialists CACI for Property Week magazine.

“The retail hotspots show us that in today’s retail world it is the quality of the offer, and how well it is aligned to your customer groups, rather than the size of a scheme that is key to success,” says John Platt, principal consultant in the property consulting group at CACI.

“The majority of towns in the list are medium-sized secondary markets where the opportunity to build a large regional mall doesn’t exist. However, there is still a significant opportunity for retailers and developers in these areas provided the mix suits the need of the shopper.”

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Infrastructure and Growth Manager Joan Hancox welcomed the data. She said: “It’s great to see so many Hertfordshire towns make it into the top 100. This reflects not only how good these centres are but also their potential. We know with both Watford and Bishop’s Stortford that there will be over £100m invested in these towns in the next few years which will substantially improve their retail and leisure offer.”

CACI used a number of different metrics to compile the Hot 100, including local economic variables, growth prospects and the impact of future projects. They also looked at the growth prospects of each town in terms of the opportunity to add retail space, how well aligned the retail offer is to the demographics of the catchment area, how good the leisure offer is and how the population will grow over the next decade.

For a full list of the Hot 100 Retail Towns and an interactive map, click here.