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MRI: Easter And Payday Leads To Retail Footfall Boost

William Barton / shutterstock / 753265135

MRI Software has published its latest OnLocation Index, covering Sunday to Saturday, the week 24/03/2023 - 30/03/2024.


2024 vs 2023: +8.5%
Week-on-week: +6.0%

High Street

2024 vs 2023: +8.2%
Week-on-week: +1.9%

Shopping Centre

2024 vs 2023: +9.1%
Week-on-week: +10.3%

Retail Park

2024 vs 2023: +8.4%
Week-on-week: +10.3%

Jenni Matthews, Marketing & Insights Director, OnLocation for Footfall Analytics at MRI Software, said: 

The combination of the long Easter weekend and payday led to a boost in footfall for UK retail destinations largely driven by shopping centres and retail parks. 

It was a strong week for UK retail destinations with footfall showing a steady increase week on week up until Tuesday however this rose significantly from Wednesday onwards with activity levels peaking by around a quarter in retail parks and shopping centres on Thursday, and almost a fifth on Friday. This is likely to be a result of last-minute Easter shopping before enjoying the festivities across towns and cities on Saturday where high streets recorded the greatest week on week rise out of all three destination types.

Coastal towns, as predicted, saw the highest rise in footfall week on week which is suggestive of families heading to coastal locations to kick start the Easter holidays. This trend was also reflected in MRI Software’s Central London ‘Back to Office’ benchmark recording the greatest decline in activity from the week prior.

Compared against the same week in 2023, footfall rose in all retail destinations however it’s important to note that this is not a true comparison with Easter week as this fell a week later in 2023. When compared with Easter week 2023, we saw footfall decline likely to have been influenced by the turbulent weather experienced throughout the week largely impacting high street footfall.

Footfall rose by +6% last week from the week before in all UK retail destination aligning closely with MRI Software’s forecast of +6.6% for the week leading up to Easter weekend. Shopping centres and retail parks both led the charge witnessing rises of +10.3% however high streets saw a much more modest rise of +1.9%. This was likely to have been affected by early week weather disruptions leading to a decline in activity by an average of -1.2% from Sunday to Wednesday.

Retail parks and shopping centres saw footfall levels peak by an average of +26.3% and +18.6% on Thursday and Friday, respectively, which suggests many were busy stocking up on Easter groceries and essentials ahead of the weekend. As anticipated, footfall subsided by Saturday in retail parks and shopping centres however high streets witnessed a week on week rise of +9.5% indicating the attractiveness of the Easter festivities taking place in many UK towns and cities.

Coastal towns (+17%) witnessed the greatest rise in footfall last week from the week before which coincided with the start of the Easter school holidays in many regions, followed by historic towns (+5.7%) and market towns (+4.8%). This was much higher when compared with MRI Software’s Central London ‘Back to Office’ benchmark where footfall declined by -5.3% from the week before last.

Overall footfall rose by +8.5% in all UK retail destinations when compared against the same week in 2023 however this cannot be considered a true comparison against Easter week. When compared with Easter week in 2023, footfall declined by -5% in all UK retail destinations largely influenced by high streets seeing footfall drop by -7.5%. This may have been influenced by the unpredictable weather seen across the UK, especially in the earlier part of the week, combined with many deciding to take vacations.

Source : MRI Software

Image : William Barton / / 753265135 

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01 April 2024

02 April 2024

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