Big fall in footfall

Springboard records ‘concerning’ decline in pedestrian traffic

With Week 2 being the first full working week after the festive period it is unsurprising that footfall declined; however, it is the magnitude of the decline that continues to be concerning. Footfall declined by -6.7% over the week across all destinations from Week 1 (nearly three times as great a drop as last year) and by -1.8% on an annual basis, which was double last year’s decline.

Adding further woe to the picture is that footfall declined across all three destination types, contrasting with 2018 when activity in retail parks rose annually by +1.5%. This year retail park footfall declined by -1%, representing a significant downward shift of 2.5%. Footfall in high streets worsened slightly from last year, declining by -2.1% versus -1.9% in 2018; but there was a noticeable deterioration in shopping centres, with footfall declining by -2.1% over the year compared with a drop of just -0.8% in 2018.

Geographically, the decline in footfall last week was universal spanning all areas. If there is a glimmer of good news it was that high street footfall rose in four geographies – three of which are to the west of the UK (the South West, Wales and the West Midlands) plus Northern Ireland; and retail park footfall rose in the east (the East and East Midlands) plus North & Yorkshire. The drop in shopping centre footfall was universal across all areas of the UK.

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