23 May 2024, 10:16
By Furniture News Mar 03, 2023

February saw retail footfall growth slow

According to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data, total UK footfall increased by +10.4% in February (YoY).

High street footfall increased by +17.8%, retail parks saw footfall decrease by -3.3%, and shopping centre footfall increased by +11.7%.

Wales saw the highest increase in footfall of all nations at +14.9%, followed by Scotland at +14.5% and Northern Ireland at +12.7%. England saw the lowest increase, at +11.8%.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels (Yo4Y), total footfall was down -8.8%, high streets by -7.7%, retail parks by -2.7%, and shopping centres by -23.3%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “Growth in footfall slowed this month after the rush of Christmas shopping and January sales. Some people are making fewer visits as the cost of living continues to bear down ahead of the April energy price rise. Despite this, high streets continue to show the biggest improvement compared to last year, when concerns around Covid kept people away from town and city centres. Footfall at retail parks suffered as customers switched back to shopping centres and high streets, which are being buoyed by returns of the office commute.

“Consumer demand remains fragile, owing to the ongoing cost of living crisis and weak consumer confidence. Many retailers are investing in their store experience, and all continue to support customers with the cost of living. But it is vital that Government does not burden the retail industry with additional regulatory costs that hinder investment.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, comments: “Facing multidirectional headwinds – from the long shadow cast by Covid to the ongoing consumer caution caused by the rising cost of living – we are, at least, starting to see footfall normalising. 

“While the fluctuations in footfall are now less volatile, creating a new baseline against which to benchmark high street performance, it doesn’t mean the footfall recovery has yet fully turned a corner. Retailers are still grappling with underlying uncertainty as they try to keep pace in the context of these multifaceted challenges. Looking ahead, delivering value – whether that’s through ranging or by giving shoppers compelling reasons to visit stores – will remain central to turning the tide on footfall performance.”

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