RENFREW retailers have hit back after the town was branded Scotland’s worst shopping destination.

A ‘league table’ of 1,000 retail centres across the UK, compiled by strategic property consultancy Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH), ranked Renfrew in 993rd place.

Nowhere else north of the border was ranked lower.

However, when The Gazette hit the streets of Renfrew, we found plenty of traders who believe the town has lots to offer for shoppers.

READ MORE: Renfrewshire town named as Scotland's worst shopping destination

Michelle McGhee, who owns Candy Chele’s, in Inchinnan Road, said: “We have got some nice wee delis and specialist shops. There’s a lot in the town.

“It’s a great place to live and there’s such a wonderful community spirit.”

Michelle did, however, call for more support for local traders who have to compete with larger retailers at the nearby intu Braehead shopping mall.

The Gazette: Michelle McGhee Michelle McGhee

She added: “The council could be doing more to help us.

“The shops and businesses are there but we just need to come together.”

Wellbread bakery manager Janice Campbell said the retail league table needs to be “taken with a pinch of salt.”

“I really don’t think it is that bad and there are some shops opening up even just now,” she added. “We are always really busy and have plenty of customers.”

Jodie Pope, who works at the Sue Ryder charity shop in Dunlop Street, believes Renfrew’s impressive community spirit sets it apart from other towns.

The Gazette: Janice Campbell is among those standing up for Renfrew Janice Campbell is among those standing up for Renfrew

She said: “It was really disappointing to hear about this report, as I think it is very unfair on Renfrew.

“This is such a great wee town, with brilliant community spirit.

“There are so many other towns with more empty units than us.”

The Gazette: Jodie Pope Jodie Pope

However, other traders backed calls for Renfrewshire Council to do more to support the town.

Karen Kelly, manager of The Flower Pot, in Paisley Road, said: “The council has to take this on the chin. They’ve done different things to the town and moved their support to Braehead.”

Renfrew was the only retail centre in Renfrewshire to be ranked in the bottom 30 in the UK, where it was joined by Cowdenbeath, Annan and the Shettleston Road area of Glasgow.

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Newcastle’s Byker Shields took home the honor of being named the worst shopping destination in the whole of the UK, while Cambridge City Centre came out on top.

Derek Mackay, who is the town’s MSP, told The Gazette: “Renfrew, like every other town in Scotland is adapting to changing retail demand.

“Renfrew is a vibrant town with many small, independent businesses, a beautiful town hall, townscape to be proud of and a spacious town centre park many other towns would love to have.

The Gazette: Derek Mackay jumped to the defence of the town Derek Mackay jumped to the defence of the town

“The vast majority of shops are occupied and yes people do travel from surrounding villages and towns to meet in Renfrew.

READ MORE: Over half of Gazette readers believe Renfrew isn't 'worst in Scotland'

“We have some cracking restaurants and a real community spirit.”

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