Despite the pay weekend and the turn in the weather to encourage the new season trends, footfall tumbled last week with an annual decline of –3.4 per cent across the Springboard Index (a weighted average of high street, retail park and shopping centre footfall). However, this is not as dramatic as at first glance when viewed in context; footfall actually increased against the previous week by +1.9 per cent and more interestingly, the numbers follow on from the footfall results for the same week in 2015 that saw an above average annual increase (for 2015) of +2.6 per cent, which was reflected across all indices.
Both retail park and shopping centre performances fell against last year with results of –0.4 per cent and –2.8 per cent respectively – in contrast to a rise of +3.0 per cent in retail parks in 2015 and a flat result for shopping centres. Regionally, Wales saw the best performance for last week with increases in both high street and retail park figures by +0.4 per cent and +4.9 per cent respectively and despite a drop of –6.7 per cent in shopping centre numbers finished with a drop of just –0.5 per cent overall. Wales was the only increase in high street numbers which saw an overall drop of –4.8 per cent annually (in contrast to the +3.7 per cent rise in 2015) with the south of the country taking the brunt of the decline - Greater London –6.9 per cent, South East –8.3 per cent and South West -4.4 per cent.
The levelling of performance in relation to last year has gradually had an effect on the year to date figures, which, for much of the year has been adrift in comparison to the same period last year by about -1.0 per cent across each indices. Only retail park numbers are noticeably changed across the year with a year to date increase of +1.1 per cent in comparison to a +2.3 per cent ytd in 2015, whilst high street numbers are just 0.1 per cent different (–1.6 per cent in 2015 and –1.5 per cent in 2016) with shopping centres the same at –1.8 per cent.