Spring in the step of footfall

Published:  04 April, 2017

Continued good weather brings out the shoppers according to Springboard

With an annual increase in footfall of +3.1 per cent across the UK, at first sight the results for last week appear hugely positive, particularly following the strong results last week. However, last yearís comparable of -7.3 per cent is particularly weak as a consequence of huge distortion created by the timing of Easter last year, which meant that Easter Sunday and Easter Monday occurred last week in 2016, combined with the fact that Mother's Day this year fell on last Sunday but two weeks earlier in 2016; all of which was in conjunction with strong wind and rain from Easter Saturday to Easter Monday last year.

Given the consistency in weather over the past two weeks the more relevant comparable is undoubtedly the weekly change in footfall, which was virtually flat at -0.3 per cent across the UK. The clear winner was high streets with a rise in footfall of +3.9 per cent - possibly helped by the demand for dining created by Motherís Day - whilst footfall in retail parks and shopping centres both dropped (by -4.7 per cent in retail parks and by -4.8 per cent in shopping centres).

The distinction between the performance of high streets versus retail parks and shopping centres is clear to see in the weekly change in footfall in different areas of the UK. In both retail parks and shopping centres footfall dropped from the previous week in every area of the UK, while in high streets footfall dropped in only four areas which averaged -1.4 per cent, but rose by an average of +3.6 per cent across the remaining six areas.

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