Rain puts damper on footfall

Published:  08 August, 2017

Cool rainy weather impacted on customer activity, finds Springboard

Despite a rise in footfall of +0.9 per cent from the previous week, the cool rainy weather last week – on some days unseasonably cool – clearly impacted on customer activity as footfall across UK retail destinations declined annually by -1.2 per cent. compared with a rise of +0.7 per cent from 2015 in the same week last year.

All of this drop was driven by high streets, the ‘go-to’ destination when the weather is fine and sunny, but quickly deserted for more protected environments during rainy periods. This is exactly what occurred last week, with footfall in shopping centres rising by +0.2 per cent, very similar to the +0.3 per cent in 2016 compared with -3.5 per cent in high streets. In retail parks footfall rose by +2.6 per cent, an improvement on the +2.2 per cent last year, and likely to be a product of the available and accessible parking in these locations, combined with the fact that trips to retail parks involve less window shopping which is a key element of high street shopping.

The results for last week also demonstrate the significance of Greater London and the North & Yorkshire regions in the overall UK retail landscape, as these areas generate greater footfall volumes than in any other area across the UK. Despite increases from last week, footfall in high streets in both regions declined noticeably on an annual basis, by -4.0 per cent in Greater London and by -2.9 per cent in North & Yorkshire; compared with a rise of +1.1 per cent in Greater London last year and a drop that was less than half the magnitude (of -1.3 per cent) in North & Yorkshire.”

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