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Industry News December footfall reflects changing shopping habits

Published on May 15th, 2017 | by The GC Team

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UK retail sees fastest quarter of footfall growth in five years

Footfall in April grew 1.6% on the same month in the previous year, the fastest growth since March 2014.

According to the BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, this is well above the three-month average of 0.7%, which is the first positive three-month average since May 2014 and the highest since February 2012.

High street footfall grew 2.3% in April, the fastest growth since March 2014. Footfall to retail park destinations grew by 2.7%, the fastest since January 2016, while shopping centre footfall fell by 0.6%.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief-Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The inclusion of the holidays in this period will have distorted this figure but even looking beyond this, the picture over the last quarter has been largely positive.

“As has been the trend for some months now, high streets across most of the UK attracted the largest increase in visitors out of all shopping destinations. This translated into good news for stores too, which saw their fastest annual sales growth since January last year.”

Diane Wehrle, Springboard Marketing and Insights Director, pointed out that Easter staycations boosted footfall by 5.1% in coastal towns and by 7.9% in historic towns, and the underlying structural shift towards leisure-focused trips meant that while high street footfall rose by 1.9% during retail trading hours, trips to high streets after 5pm increased by more than 3%.

 The headline national town centre vacancy rate also looked a little more promising, falling from 9.4% in January to 9.3% in April 2017. But the detail showed that this was largely due to sharp falls in Greater London and the East.

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