Consumers cut back

Springboard detects sudden fall in footfall

With the October school half term holiday, Halloween and fireworks celebrations clearly behind us, it was inevitable that footfall declined from the previous week; by – 6.9% across all UK retail destinations. However, more startlingly footfall also fell sharply from last year, by -4.7% across all UK retail destinations – the largest annual drop since week 15 when we were comparing post Easter this year with Easter week in 2017.

Moreover, the fact that the decline was of a similar magnitude in all three destination types (in fact the drop in footfall in shopping centres reached -6.3%), together with the fact that this result is a stark contrast to the rise in footfall of +0.5% in the same week last year, is a clear indication that footfall is being impacted on by a pull-back in consumer spending generally. In addition to this, it may well be that consumers are reserving cash for Black Friday, which is starting earlier each year, and now extends from the Friday before to the Monday following.

Not one region or nation recorded a rise in footfall in any of the three destination types; and whilst the decline averaged around -4% in high streets and retail parks in some areas it was far greater, reaching more than -7% in high streets in Scotland and the South East; and -12.4% in retail parks in the East. In shopping centres, footfall declined by more than -7% in four areas; reaching -9.2% in the East Midlands.

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