19 May 2024, 03:58
By Furniture News Apr 05, 2024

Early Easter fails to fully reverse retail footfall decline

According to the latest BRC-Sensormatic IQ data, total UK retail footfall decreased by -1.3% in March (YoY), an improvement on the -6.2% drop in February.

High street footfall decreased by -1.5% (from -9.3% in February) and retail park footfall by -3.5% (from -5.8% in February), while shopping centre footfall increased by +0.3% (from -7.0% in February).

The nations of the UK were split in their overall footfall traffic, with Northern Ireland and Wales seeing increasing traffic YoY, while England and Scotland had lower YoY traffic. In Wales, footfall increased by +0.4% YoY, Northern Ireland's increased by +4.0% YoY, Scotland's decreased by -0.9% YoY, and England's decreased by -1.6% YoY.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “Overall UK footfall declined in March as the wet weather kept shoppers indoors. Northern Ireland and Wales bucked the trend while shopping centres across the UK also saw a YoY increase in footfall, primarily driven by the start of the school holidays.

"The early Easter meant footfall rose across the UK in the final week of March, particularly in English cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool, but this was not enough to reverse the overall decline over the course of the month."

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, comments: “An early, high-performing Easter helped put a spring in shoppers’ steps and this, combined with a boost from Mother’s Day and ambient store visits from school holidays, drove up shopper traffic numbers in March to improve on what was a rather muted footfall performance in February.

"While retailers will have welcomed the seasonal uplift in store visits last month, the choppy nature of footfall recovery we’ve seen over the past few months indicates that consumer confidence is yet to fully turn a corner, meaning we may see a bumpy recovery in shopper traffic in the months ahead.”

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