Springboard detects downturn after the downpours
It will come as no surprise to anyone that footfall suffered last week as a consequence of the continual heavy rain. However, it was definitely a week bookended by much stronger performance at the beginning of the week, before the rain started, and at end of the week when the rain had stopped.
Over the week as a whole footfall declined marginally from the week before (by -1.0%), but by -5.1% over the year. On Sunday – before the heavy rain started in earnest on Monday – footfall rose by +0.5% from the week before and dropped annually by -1.7%. In contrast, over the four-day period from Monday to Thursday when the rain was relentless, footfall declined each day by an average of -5.2% from the week before and by -8.1% year on year. Consumers clearly deferred trips mid-week as by Friday and Saturday, when the rain had eased, footfall recovered. On Friday it was +8.2% higher than Friday in the previous week (albeit still -2.8% down annually) and +4.6% higher than on the previous Saturday (just -0.1% lower than on the same day in 2018).
All three destination types were hit, although as would be expected it was high streets that bore the brunt with an average drop each day between Monday and Thursday of -7.6% from the previous week and -11.2% annually. Shopping centres were also impacted, with a drop in footfall over the four days of -3.2% from the previous week (-8.1% annually), but of course their covered environments to some degree insulated them from the worst effects. The hit of the rain on retail parks was less severe (an average weekly drop of -2.1% and -3.0% annually over the four days from Monday to Thursday), but the bounce back on Friday and Saturday from these days in the previous week was also more subdued (+2.6% on Friday and +0.9% on Saturday).