Shopping Centre
Footfall revival continues
Published:  11 April, 2017

Springboard reports second week of growth in pedestrian traffic

Footfall rose by +3.4 per cent last week in what was the first week of the second quarter of the year, a welcome uplift from the marginal drop of -0.3 per cent recorded in the same week last year.

The key contrasts are a complete volte-face in both high street and shopping centre footfall performance, but in opposite directions. In high streets, footfall improved significantly, moving from a decline of -5.9 per cent in 2016 (when footfall dropped in all but one part of the UK) to +5.5 per cent last week when footfall rose in all but one area and dropped by just -1.3 per cent in the South West. In shopping centres, however, the opposite occurred with a sharp downward movement from +6 per cent in 2016 to -1.1 per cent this year, with increases in just two areas (+3 per cent in Greater London and +1.6 per cent in the South East) and a sharp drop of -11.9 per cent in the West Midlands.

Unlike in many weeks, the weather was remarkably similar in this week in both years, and so this “go to” rationale for a change in performance is not an obvious cause. One reason is that in 2016 Week 14 was post Easter, and so whilst Easter was not a high spot in footfall terms, the impetus to visit retail destinations had passed, causing a drop off in footfall. This year, however, we are in the run up to Easter – which combined with mild dry Spring weather, the break-up of many schools and post payday – is likely to have generated increased customer activity last week.