The "UK Cities Monitor 2008" placed Sheffield among the top ten "best cities to locate a business today", the city occupying 3rd and 4th places respectively for best office location and best new call centre location. The same report places Sheffield in 3rd place regarding "greenest reputation" and 2nd in terms of the availability of financial incentives.
Sheffield has an international reputation for metallurgy and steel-making. Thomas Boulsover invented Sheffield Plate (silver-plated copper) in the early 18th century. Stainless steel was invented by Harry Brearley in 1912, and the work of F. B. Pickering and T. Gladman throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s was fundamental to the development of modern high-strength low-alloy steels. Further innovations continue on the Advanced Manufacturing Park by Sheffield's universities and other independent research organisations.
Forgemasters, founded in 1805, is the sole remaining independent steel works in the world and dominates the north east of Sheffield around the Lower Don Valley. The firm has a global reputation for producing the largest and most complex steel forgings and castings and is certified to produce critical nuclear components, with recent projects including the Royal Navy's Astute class submarines. The firm also has the capacity for pouring the largest single ingot (570 tonnes) in Europe and is currently in the process of expanding its capabilities.
Coal mining has also been a major industry, particularly in the outlying areas, and the Palace of Westminster in London was built using limestone from quarries in the nearby village of Anston. Other areas of employment include call centres, the City Council, universities and hospitals.
Sheffield is home to many High Street and department stores as well as designer boutiques. The main shopping areas in the city centre are on The Moor precinct, Fargate, Orchard Square and the Devonshire Quarter.
Department stores in the city centre include John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Atkinsons and Debenhams. Shopping areas outside the city centre include the Meadowhall shopping centre and retail park. In a 2010 survey of forecast expenditure at retail centres in the United Kingdom, Meadowhall was ranked 12th and Sheffield city centre 19th