Footfall drops amid consumer caution

Published:  24 April, 2017

Springboard reports growing reluctance to spend

It seems that the pressures on household spending that are becoming more apparent were reflected in footfall performance in retail destinations last week which dropped by -5.3 per cent. This is the worst weekly result this year, and is more than twice as large a drop as in the same week last year. However, in part this is likely to be a consequence of the inclusion of Easter Monday which will have impacted on footfall and, indeed it is a better result than in the week of Easter Monday last year when footfall dropped by -7.3 per cent. However, in the week of Easter Monday last year footfall dipped from the previous (Easter) week by just -2.7 per cent while declining by -11.1 per cent this year.

The drop in footfall spanned all retail destinations with declines of -5.4 per cent in high streets, -6.4 per cent in shopping centres and -3.5 per cent in retail parks; and the drops were virtually universal spanning all geographies across all three destination types. Somewhat startling was the fact that there were drops of more than -10 per cent in high streets in two areas (East Midlands and Northern Ireland), and in three areas in shopping centres (the East, Greater London and the West Midlands). Even in retail parks, footfall dropped by more than -7 per cent in two areas (the South West and the West Midlands).

While based on a single week it is premature to conclude that the footfall decline is accelerating, the results suggest greater consumer caution around making trips to bricks and mortar destinations which inevitably impacts on overall spending.

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