Preston is a major centre of the British defence aerospace industry with BAE Systems, the UK's principal military aircraft design, development and manufacture supplier, having its Military Aircraft headquarters located in nearby Warton.
Haulage supplier and operator James Hall and Co who supply produce for Spar stores in the north of England have their head office located just off the M6 Junction 31a at Bowland View. This is the biggest building in the city of Preston.
The financial sector also has a large presence in the city with a large selection of consultancies, insurance and law firms including national debt collection agency iQor Recovery Services Ltd.
Retail is also a major contributor to Preston's economy. The city houses two major shopping centres:
Fishergate Shopping Centre – which has a large Debenhams department store, Primark, TK Maxx, Argos and T.J. Hughes stores.
St George's Shopping Centre (formerly The Mall Preston) – a popular centrally located shopping mall dating from the 1960s.
Another shopping centre in Preston is the Miller Arcade, a specialist shopping centre in a listed building, which formerly included public baths, situated next to the Harris Museum.
Preston's main high streets are Fishergate and Friargate which offer shops, bars and restaurants with many more tucked away down the side streets. The first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in the UK was opened on Fishergate in 1965.
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