Shopping Centre
Footfall drops
Published:  23 May, 2017

Springboard records further fall in pedestrian traffic

The drop in footfall of -1.3 per cent across UK retail destinations last week, whilst still relatively modest, was nearly double the magnitude of drop recorded last year when footfall declined by just -0.7 per cent. Unusually, given the recent increasing resilience of high streets, all of the reduction in overall performance was driven by a decline in high street footfall of -2.3 per cent compared with +0.1 per cent in 2016. In part this may be due to the rainy weather last week which inevitably deters shoppers from visiting external destinations. This would appear to be a logical explanation as in contrast, footfall in shopping centres improved – albeit still negative at -1.5 per cent, but a better performance than the -3 per cent recorded last year.

The rationale of last week's rainy weather impacting footfall has even greater weight when looking at results across the UK - in both high streets and shopping centres, footfall dropped in the same number of geographies but it was the magnitude of drop in individual areas that made the difference. In high streets, the greatest influence was a drop in footfall in Greater London of -3.0 per cent compared with a rise of +1.2 per cent last year - this area generates the greatest volume of footfall and so has a greater than average weighting towards the overall result. Unfortunately this was exacerbated by footfall in other geographies also declining by more than last year, for example -5.0 per cent in Wales compared with just -0.1 per cent last year, and -5.6 per cent in the East Midlands compared with +.04 per cent in 2016.