Holidays boost footfall

Springboard registers uplift in pedestrian traffic

The Spring Bank Holiday weekend seemingly had a positive impact on footfall last week, with a week on week increase of +5.5% across all destinations. However much of this uplift was due to comparing Sunday and Monday with Easter Sunday and Easter Monday the week before, particularly Easter Sunday when no stores were trading.

On an annual basis, the picture is not nearly as rosy, with footfall declining by -3.2% across all destinations from the same week last year. This is very much a product of the changing weather last week, which moved from hot and sunny in the first half of the week to much cooler, rainy and windy in the second half. Added to this was the fact that the weather over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend last year was warm and sunny.

In fact the week this year was clearly split into two halves, with just a modest decline in footfall of -0.5% between Sunday and Wednesday but a much more severe drop – when the temperatures cooled and the rain kicked in – from Thursday to Saturday of -5.9%. Indeed, on Bank Holiday Saturday the much colder weather this year led to a -10.6% drop in high street footfall versus just -0.5% in shopping centres.

The cooler weather made the protected environments of shopping centres more attractive to shoppers, with a rise in footfall from the week before of +8.9% compared with +4.6% in high streets; and a slightly more modest annual drop of -3.6% versus -4.5% in high streets. However, retail parks were clearly the venue of choice for shoppers – who clearly saw the colder weather as an opportunity to work on their homes and gardens – with a rise in footfall of +3.9% from the week before and a virtually flat performance over the year of just -0.1%

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