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Rail Strikes And Cold Weather Hit High Street Retailers Hardest

Smileus Christmas #shopping street lights iStock-624124526

Springboard has published footfall data for week 50 (11/12 - 17/12) noting that rail strikes and cold weather hit high street retailers hardest in the run up to Christmas. 

Springboard Retail Park Index - Week 50 2022

2022 vs 2021 = -1.8%

2022 vs 2019 = -9.8%

Week-on-week = +1.6%

Springboard's Marketing and Insights Director, Diane Wehrle, said:

Last week - the week prior to Christmas - should have been a peak trading week for retail destinations and stores, with footfall expected to rise from the week before as Christmas shopping moves towards its zenith.  Instead, footfall across UK retail destinations took a tumble last week.  Whilst the cold weather prevailed, which would undoubtedly have had some impact, the contrast with the results for the week before clearly demonstrate that it was the rail strikes that were the key impact on footfall.

By far the hardest hit of the three key destination types were high streets, which lost both shoppers who couldn’t reach towns and cities by rail, but also employees who chose to work at home last week.  Some of this footfall migrated to retail parks and shopping centres, with both recording rises from the week before (albeit modest) versus a significant drop in footfall in high streets.  Retail parks fared the best of all three destination types, supported by the fact they can be easily accessed by car with the bonus of free car parking.

Across the range of towns and cities Central London, with its proportionately greater reliance on public transport and a significant working population, was by far the hardest hit.  It was followed by historic towns, where narrow roads would have resulted in significant congestion deterring some visitors who weren't able to arrive by rail.  It was evident that many shoppers stayed local last week, with only a modest drop in footfall in market towns.

Source : Springboard

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19 December 2022

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