Footfall decline resumes

Shopper numbers on the slide again, finds Springboard

After the strong uplift in footfall last week it appears we are back to reality with an annual decline of -0.8 per cent across all destinations, and a similar decline of -0.6 per cent from the previous week. Whilst a disappointment, it should not be surprising given the constraints underlying consumer spending, and the good news is that the annual change slowed from a drop of -1.4 per cent in week 17 last year.

Furthermore both shopping centres and retail parks improved in footfall terms, with rises from last week of +2.8 per cent and +2.7 per cent; in the case of retail parks a rise also over the year of +1.4 per cent. Whilst footfall in shopping centres dropped by -1.8 per cent over the year, this was an improvement on the annual change of -4.3 per cent last year, suggesting that the loss of shopper numbers is being stemmed.

For high streets, however, the picture is not as positive; with an annual decline in footfall of -1.4 per cent and a drop from of -3.8 per cent from the week before. Not only did high streets underperform shopping centres and retail parks, but the result also worsened from week 17 last year when the annual decline in footfall was -0.5 per cent with a rise of +3.2 per cent over the week. And to compound this, high street footfall declined in every geography across the UK both annually and over the week. In fact before we become too optimistic around shopping centre footfall, performance by individual geography tells us that whilst the overall result has improved, footfall only rose in two areas but declined by more than -2.0 per cent in four areas.

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