Following a fairly dismal start to the year, the third week of January has finally brought a slight glimmer with a drop of just -0.7 per cent across all UK retail destinations. This is a marginal improvement on the result of -1.2 per cent for the same week last year and largely reflected by an overall increase of +2.8 per cent against the previous week. However, it is too early to celebrate with the results skewed by a positive performance in just one of the destination types.
High street destinations saw an overall annual increase of +0.5 per cent against the previous year despite a polarisation in regional performance which saw the majority fall slightly below par. That said, the regions with the greatest volumes, both Greater London and North and Yorkshire, saw results of -0.1 per cent and +2.9 per cent respectively to offset the slight shifts either side. Shopping centre performance continues to tumble, just three weeks into the year the YTD is -1.1 per cent in contrast to the -0.1 per cent at this point in 2016 and concerning given that overall centres have only seen an annual increase for 12 weeks in the past 52.
The continuing sea change is in retail park numbers, which fell for the fourth consecutive week, albeit that we would view a drop of -1.0 per cent almost positive for either the high street or shopping centres given recent history, this is such a stark contrast to the retail park performance of +3.2 per cent of 2016 and an opening to the year of -0.6 per cent.