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Published on April 17th, 2015 | by The GC Team

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March records best footfall figures for a year

Retail footfall in the UK, as measured by the BRC/Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, recorded its first increase in a year during March as the two key trading days of Good Friday and Easter Saturday fell during the monthly trading period.

Overall footfall was 0.2% higher than a year ago, after falling 0.5% in February, and despite high streets losing out with a drop of 1.4%, shopping centres reported a 0.4% increase, moving into positive territory for the first time since January 2014, while out-of-town locations recorded a rise of 3.8% year on year.

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said the ongoing and apparently accelerating attractiveness of retail parks to shoppers is a result of a number of changes in their format, as many become more leisure oriented, and their role as key click & collect points for online transactions.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said the blurring lines of physical and digital [shopping] make the figures difficult to read in their monthly isolation, but they were, nevertheless, “encouraging” results.

“Out-of-town led the way in March with its fifteenth straight month of footfall growth. This story was echoed in shopping centres, which posted its largest rise in shopper numbers since January 2014. Considering that this is only the second time in the last two years that we have seen positive footfall growth in this category, retailers can view these results as promising.

“We can be very pleased overall with the month’s performance although it is important to note that these figures are largely driven by the timing of the Easter bank holiday.”

Five regions and countries reported footfall above the UK average, with the East, Scotland and the South West reporting the greatest increases.

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