Footfall bounces back

Springboard finds modest uplift after post-Christmas lull

The first week back at work for many after the Christmas and New Year break brought some good news in terms of footfall, with a modest rise of +0.3% across all UK retail destinations, with uplifts in both high streets and retail parks. However, it must be acknowledged at least part of this more stable performance is derived from a poor comparable in this week last year, when footfall declined by -2.6% overall, with falls in each of the three destination types.

The most significant shift was in retail parks where footfall rose by +1.0% from last year against a drop of -4.6% in 2017 from the same week in 2016. High streets strengthened too, moving from -0.2% last year to +1.1% last week. In shopping centres, whilst footfall moved in the right direction, it remained firmly downward with a drop of -2.0%, following on from a decline of -5.7% in this week in 2017.

One of the key drivers in the uplift in retail park footfall is likely to be the growth in online spending that has been a feature of the Christmas trading period; which will have led to increased activity through shoppers visiting parks to collect purchases bought post-Christmas and over the new year, or through shoppers returning online orders. The outcome was an increase in footfall in six of the ten UK geographies compared with just two in this week last year.

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