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Early Easter Fails To Reverse Footfall Decline

AlbertPego / iStockphoto / 529839265

The BRC and Sensormatic have published retail footfall data for the five weeks from 25 February 2024 – 30 March 2024.

According to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data: 

  • Total UK footfall decreased by 1.3% in March (YoY), up from -6.2% in February.

    • High Street footfall decreased by 1.5% in March (YoY), up from -9.3% in February.

    • Retail Parks footfall decreased by 3.5% in March (YoY), up from -5.8% in February.

    • Shopping Centre footfall increased by 0.3% in March (YoY), up from -7.0% in February.
  • Nations of the UK were split in their overall footfall traffic, with Northern Ireland and Wales increasing traffic year on year, while England and Scotland had lower traffic year on year:
    • Wales footfall increased by 0.4% YoY
    • Northern Ireland increased by 4.0% YoY
    • Scotland decreased by 0.9% YoY
    • England decreased by 1.6% YoY

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

Overall UK footfall declined in March as the wet weather kept shoppers indoors. Northern Ireland and Wales bucked the trend while shopping centres across the UK also saw a year-on-year increase in footfall, primarily driven by the start of the school holidays. The early Easter meant footfall rose across the UK in the final week of March, particularly in English cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool, but this was not enough to reverse the overall decline over the course of the month.As we draw closer to a general election, these figures highlight how vital it is for all parties to include a clear and comprehensive plan for growth in their manifestos. As the everywhere economy, retail serves all of us, providing the things we need as well as local jobs and investment. Instead of imposing burdensome costs on the industry, parties should focus on reforming business taxes and improving planning policy to help put life back into communities up and down the country.   

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, commented:

An early, high-performing Easter helped put a spring in shoppers’ steps and this, combined with a boost from Mother’s Day and ambient store visits from school holidays, drove up shopper traffic numbers in March to improve on what was a rather muted footfall performance in February.  While retailers will have welcomed the seasonal uplift in store visits last month, the choppy nature of footfall recovery we’ve seen over the past few months indicates that consumer confidence is yet to fully turn a corner, meaning we may see a bumpy recovery in shopper traffic in the months ahead.

Source : BRC and Sensormatic

Image : AlbertPego / iStockphoto / 529839265

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05 April 2024

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