Rain puts a dampener on pedestrian traffic, finds Springboard
Despite the Spring Bank Holiday last week, footfall dropped by -5.0% from the week before, and at least some of this decline will be attributable to the weather which was cold and rainy. Indeed, its impact is evident in the annual decline of -6.1% which contrasts with the result of +0.4% last year when the weather was diametrically opposite, with high temperatures and sunshine. If needed, further evidence of the impact of the weather is provided by the result for Saturday, when the weather improved and footfall levelled off with last year, declining in overall terms by just -0.9% and by just -0.5% in high streets.
Needless to say it was high streets that were the most impacted last week, with a year on year drop in footfall of -9.1% versus -4.4% in shopping centres and -1.5% in retail parks. It seems that the cooler weather prompted consumers to stay at home and work on house and garden improvements, particularly over the bank holiday weekend when retail park footfall rose by +1.5% on Sunday and +7.3% on Monday.
Over the week as a whole, footfall declined comprehensively across the UK. In fact the drop from last year was greater than -5.0% in eight of the ten geographies, reaching -8.1% in the West Midlands, -7.6% in the South West and -7.0% in the North & Yorkshire. Inevitably, given its poorer result, the drops in high street footfall across the UK were even more startling, with declines in excess of -10.0% in four geographies, reaching as much as -13.7% in the West Midlands.