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Footfall fails to take off
Published:  13 December, 2016

Shoppers leaving it late for Christmas 2016, reports Springboard

Despite last week being the second to last trading week before the Christmas week, Springboard found footfall only rose by +0.2 per cent from the previous week, lower than the +1.7 per cent in the same week last year. However, at -2.5 per cent the annual shift - the movement from the same week last year - is largely in line with last year's result of -2.7 per cent. What this result is not showing, however, is the changes in shopping activity that occurred, with noticeable variations in footfall in all three shopping destinations from last year.

It may have seemed unlikely in the past, but of the three destination types high streets was the only one in which footfall improved from last year, albeit still negative at -2.6 per cent but better than the drop of -4.3 per cent in 2015. In contrast, footfall in retail parks moved into negative territory with a fall of -1.1 per cent compared with a rise of +1.2 per cent last year and activity in shopping centres appears to be taking a nose dive with a drop in footfall of -5.0 per cent compared with -2.8 per cent in this week in 2015.

The challenge for retail locations is the that drop in footfall was so widespread, with declines in virtually all geographic areas for all three destination types. In high streets footfall only rose in North & Yorkshire and in Scotland (and only marginally by +1.0 per cent and +0.6 per cent) and in retail parks in just the East region (by +6.3 per cent). Footfall in shopping centres dropped in every part of the UK, with a drop of less than -3 per cent in only one area (-1.1 per cent in the West Midlands), and reaching -6.2 per cent in the South East.