Half term fails to deliver

Half-term footfall surge weaker than hoped, says Springboard

With last week being the school half term in many parts of the country, it is unsurprising that footfall in retail destinations rose by +5.0% from the previous week. However, this uplift was lower than the +8.3% rise in the same week last year, and so footfall fell annually by -3.2%, the largest drop for Week 43 since 2013. There was an increase from the previous week on six of the seven days last week, however, on Saturday – recognised as the key trading day – footfall declined over the week by -7.1%. And as the weekly rises were not sufficiently large to drive an annual rise, footfall declined on a year on year basis on five of the seven days.

Geographically, footfall rises on a week to week basis were virtually universal for all three destination types – the only declines from the previous week being in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The South West noticeably outperformed all other geographies with an increase from the previous week of +10.2%. On a year-on-year basis, however, there were declines across all UK destinations in all geographies, with the only annual uplifts being very marginal and very few in number; in Greater London and Ireland’s high streets (+0.8% and +1.0%) and in retail parks in Scotland (+0.5%).

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