Footfall in retail destinations increased markedly last week, by +6.6 per cent from the same week in 2016. However, this uplift is a consequence of two reasons; firstly it came off the back of a weak annual comparable with a drop in footfall of -4.9 per cent in Week 15 last year; and secondly this year the week included both Friday and Saturday of the Easter weekend, which is second only in trading significance to Christmas. All three destination types recorded annual increases of similar magnitude, albeit that the +5.1 per cent rise in shopping centre footfall was slightly lower than the +7 per cent in high streets and +7.2 per cent in retail parks. What was universal was the geographic spread of the annual uplift, with rises in virtually every part of the UK from 2016.
In the light of the shift in Easter, it is perhaps more relevant compare footfall last week with the week before, as schools had already broken up for the Easter holiday and so trading conditions were more comparable. On this basis, footfall rose by +1 per cent overall, and for retail parks and shopping centres the good news was consolidated by widespread increases in footfall from last week of +3.5 per cent in retail parks and +3.1 per cent in shopping centres. In high streets footfall dropped by -1.1 per cent from the previous week, but the uplift in high street footfall as a consequence of Easter peaked over the previous two weeks, with rises of +4.1 per cent in Week 13 and +5.5 per cent in Week 14.