BRC-SPRINGBOARD MARCH 2017: Footfall up 1.3% on the previous year, the fastest growth since March 2014

London, 2017-Apr-18 — /EPR Retail News/ —

Covering the five weeks 26 February – 1 April 2017

  • Footfall in March grew 1.3% on the previous year, the fastest growth since March 2014. This is well above the three-month average of -0.2%. Note there is an impact on this number due to a calendar distortion – March 2016 included Easter Sunday, when shops were shut, whereas this year did not, adding one more shopping day, and therefore one more day’s footfall, to the period.
  • There was footfall growth in all three retail destinations in March. High street: 1.7%, Retail Parks: 1.4%, Shopping Centres: 0.2%. This month saw the fastest high street growth since March 2014.
  • 7 out of the 10 nations/regions we report on saw a rise in footfall in March
  • The steepest footfall decline occurred in Northern Ireland, where footfall fell by 3.7%. This was followed by the South West, where footfall fell by 2.3%


“Shopper visits increased to all retail destinations in March, resulting in the fastest annual growth in footfall for three years. This is partly owed to the exclusion of Easter Sunday from the period, which therefore benefits from an additional shopping day. But even looking beyond the distortion, the positive growth across most of the country is a reassuring sign for retailers.

“The high street continues to outperform shopping centres and retail parks, for the second consecutive month. Disappointingly though, this didn’t translate into retail sales, which were down in March on the previous year. Now that the Easter holidays have arrived, the challenge for retailers will be to attract this greater number of high street visitors into their stores.”


“March definitely provided a break in the clouds, with the +1.3% rise in footfall breaking a six-month consecutive decline and the +0.2% increase in footfall in shopping centres being the first since January 2016. Whilst some of the +1.3% may have been a consequence of the loss of a trading day last year due to an early Easter, the impact of this shift should not be overstated as it will have been mitigated by increased trade on the other days over the Easter trading period.

“Indeed, if anything it is more evidence of the continuing structural shift in the use of retail destinations for leisure and hospitality trips. Virtually all of the increase in footfall in March was derived from the post 5pm period while footfall during the trading hours of 9 am to 5 pm dropped –by just -0.5% in high streets, but much more significantly, by -7.1%, in shopping centres. Indeed, the worsening of consumer confidence and inflation from last year is likely to be constraining shoppers’ willingness to spend on retail goods. This all lends further evidence to the fact that retail is no longer the sole driver of footfall, with a strong leisure/hospitality offer being a critical element to secure retail success.”

BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
OUT OF HOURS: +44 (0) 7557 747 269

Source:  BRC


LONDON, 2016-Jul-19 — /EPR Retail News/ —

UK Summary
– Footfall in June was 2.8% down on a year ago, worse than the 0.3% rise in May and the sharpest decline since February 2014
– All three locations reported a decline in footfall for the first time since December 2013
– High Streets reported a 3.7% fall in footfall in June, followed by shopping centres, which recorded a 2.3% decline. Footfall in Retail Parks fell 1.0% after rising 1.0% in May, its worst performance since November 2013
– The best performing Nation/Region was Wales reporting a 0.9% rise in footfall, improving on the 0.8% increase in May. All other countries and regions reported a decline in June
– The West Midlands, Greater London and Scotland witnessed the sharpest footfall declines

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium, said:
“Despite today’s figures showing the deepest decline in footfall since February 2014, the same period has seen UK retail sales rise. June has seen many distractions from Euro 2016 to Wimbledon so heading out to the shops seems to have slipped down the priority list for many. In the coming months we all must redouble our efforts to remind customers that now is a great time to get out into their local communities.

“Retailers continue to focus relentlessly on delivering for shoppers day in, day out, and they know that providing a great in-store experience is key to driving up footfall. Although there is a level of uncertainty, it is important that this doesn’t deter us from the shopping and leisure activities we all enjoy. The EU referendum will not have changed the in-store experience for customers and, crucially, the price of goods on the shelves. Now is a great time for shoppers as the summer sales begin in earnest following on from a record 38 months of falling shop prices.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director, Springboard, said:
“With such major political and economic news in June, it is unsurprising that there was drop in footfall of 2.8 per cent across the UK in June, the poorest monthly result for more than two years and a marked worsening of performance since May when footfall rose slightly by 0.3 per cent. The results are shaped by a political and economic storm against a backdrop of rain downpours and generally inclement weather throughout the whole month. Footfall deteriorated from a 0.4 per cent rise in the first week of June to a 4.6 per cent drop during the week of the referendum and a 3.4 per cent drop in the weeks following, as consumer confidence was hit, despite retailers discounting throughout the period in early season sales.

“In the last three weeks of the month the drop in footfall averaged 4.1 per cent compared with just -0.9 per cent in the same weeks last year. Whilst the cooler more rainy weather than last year will explain some of this degradation in performance, it is unlikely that it will have accounted for all the 5 per cent drop in footfall of across UK destinations in the seven days post the referendum. Most significant is the out-of-town footfall decline; the first drop since December 2013. It is more likely that consumers’ attention was diverted in the immediate aftermath – the issue for retailers is how quickly shoppers will return to their usual patterns of behaviour.”

Media Enquiries:
Zoe Maddison
British Retail Consortium
T: 0207 854 8924

Source: BRC


BRC/SPRINGBOARD: Retail park footfall increased 2.9% YoY in October 2015

  • Footfall in October was 0.2% lower than a year ago, unchanged from the decline in September. This was above the three-month average of -0.6%.
  • Footfall in retail park locations increased 2.9% year-on-year. This is below September’s high of 4.0%.
  • High Streets and Shopping Centres reported a decline in footfall of 1.0% and 1.3% respectively.
  • Four regions in England reported positive footfall growth in October, the East Midlands continuing its strong performance.
  • The national town centre vacancy rate was 9.1% in October 2015, down from the 9.8% rate reported in July 2015. This is the lowest reported rate since we began reporting the data in July 2011.

LONDON, 2015-11-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, BRC Chief Executive, said: “The locations consumers are choosing to shop remains in a state of flux. While the rate of decline in footfall across high streets and shopping centres appears to have stabilised, more and more shoppers are choosing to visit retail parks which offer a greater mix of leisure and retail.

“There is a little cheer in the news that vacancies have fallen once again. However in order for this good news to be sustainable, action is urgently needed to reform business rates. Otherwise the new occupants of these premises will, in the not too distant future, find themselves struggling under the weight of ballooning bills. If the burden of business rates continues to grow as it has in the past, today’s vacancy figure may become but a distant, happy memory. Action now will ensure our high streets remain vibrant and viable long into the future.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said: “October is fast becoming an important ‘look and compare’ month for shoppers ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is driving up footfall across all retail destinations. Footfall may have remained relatively unchanged for October from September but over the last two years as the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday grows, we are seeing a significant increase in footfall for the month of October from -2.9 per cent in 2013 to -0.8 per cent in 2014 and this month’s -0.2 per cent.

“Additionally the UK vacancy rate of 9.1 per cent is the lowest on record [since July 2011] and this is undoubtedly helping retain footfall across all retail destinations – this is a longer trend to watch.

“This contrasts with expectations at the beginning of the year, when the unprecedented number of retail leases expiring this year suggested that the vacancy rate would increase. However, after a long period of recession and low demand for additional space from retailers, alongside the growth of leisure and food and beverage and multi-channel shopping, landlords have been forced into being more flexible about who they are prepared to accept as tenants and on what terms – no longer able to demand the strength of covenant they were once able to, we are now seeing a broadening of occupier types in high streets and shopping centres which can only be for the good.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.

BRC/SPRINGBOARD: Footfall in August 1.6% lower than a year ago

  • Footfall in August was 1.6% lower than a year ago, down from the 1.1% fall in July. This was below the three-month average of -1.4%.
  • Both High Streets and Shopping Centres reported a decline, falling 2.3% and 2.8% respectively. Footfall in Shopping Centres is now the lowest since January excluding Easter distortions.
  • Footfall in Retail Park locations increased 1.7% year-on-year. This is the slowest increase since May 2015 and significantly below the three-month average of 2.5%.
  • Nine regions and countries reported a decline in footfall, four of which had a footfall rate lower than the UK average.
  • The East Midlands was the only region to report positive footfall growth, albeit marginally (0.04%).

LONDON, 2015-9-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “The continued decline in footfall in shopping centres and on the high street is disappointing, but not surprising. The fact that the number of visitors to retail parks has dipped below the three month average is also a clear sign of a lack-lustre August. However, it is worth noting that these figures do not take into account the last two days of August (the Sunday and Bank holiday Monday) which will, hopefully, add some cheer to the numbers in September.

“These numbers are a clear demonstration of the continued pressures the UK retail industry is facing. We know that retailers are steadily maintaining sales but at lower prices and to fewer people visiting physical stores.

“As we start the long march to Christmas, retailers will want to see an increase in shopper numbers in all store locations. Most will also be hoping for a decrease in any financial or regulatory burdens heading their way from government. These only make the job of getting the right products to UK consumers at the right price harder at a time when the hurdles to running a successful retail business are high enough.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said: “It is clear that high streets and shopping centres are under increasing pressure once again – August was the third month in a row in which footfall in high streets dropped by more than 2 per cent, and this has been the case in shopping centres for the past five months.

“Footfall in retail parks continued its inexorable rise, albeit at a lower rate than in both July this year and in August last year. However, this is likely to be just a short term hiatus, as August this year only included the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend when footfall increased by 3 per cent compared with a rise of more than 6 per cent over the Sunday and Monday. So the probability is that in September UK footfall will bounce back from the -1.6 per cent recorded in this August to at least equal the more modest 0.9 per cent drop recorded in September 2014.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium