The combination in a single week of the Sunday of October's pay weekend, Halloween and Fireworks night had a positive impact on footfall, with a +1.4 per cent rise across all UK retail destinations compared with a virtually flat result in the same week last year.
And the positive benefits for high streets and shopping centres were clear; +2.5 per cent in high streets compared with just +0.5 per cent last year, and -0.5 per cent in shopping centres which is a much-improved result on the drop of -2.6 per cent in the same week in 2015. Inevitably, with shoppers focusing on Halloween and Fireworks events, activity in retail parks waned from +2 per cent in 2015, although still remained positive at +0.9 per cent.
The pattern of footfall activity in high streets across the UK was largely similar to last year, with increases all but two areas, however, in four areas these were in excess of +4 per cent (reaching +7.7 per cent in North & Yorkshire) compared with uplifts of more than +4 per cent in just two areas last year.
The improved footfall performance in shopping centres emanates from positive results in four areas of the UK, particularly in the South East (+3.2 per cent) and the South West (+4.7 per cent) whilst last year the only positive result was +0.5 per cent in the South East. It was in retail parks that there was the most significant variation in terms of the pattern of activity, with drops in footfall in three areas of the UK, and noticeable downward shifts in the East Midlands (from +3.5 per cent last year to -0.9 per cent) and Wales (from +3 per cent last year to -1.6 per cent).