Bank holiday footfall down in shops as consumers visited retail destinations outside shopping hours
According to retail experts Springboard, the drop seen on both Saturday and Sunday was coupled with a much improved performance post 5pm on both days.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Part of this drop will be due to the rain in some parts of the country, but certainly not all of it as rainy summer days are a long term characteristic in the UK. The fact that footfall improved significantly post 5pm, when it was also raining, highlights the growing demand for leisure activities – hospitality, food and beverage trips.”
Springboard’s figures show that footfall dropped by just 1.7% between 5pm and 8pm overall on Saturday and rose by 7.9% on Sunday. In high streets, footfall increased by 1.8% in the same period on Saturday and by 8% on Sunday.
During the night time hours of 8pm to 12am, footfall rose even more from last year – by 10.4% overall. Footfall in shopping centres in the time period rose by 17.1% on Saturday and by 17.4% on Sunday.
Wehrle added: “These results indicate the growth in trips focusing on experience rather than trips purely to buy products, and the growth of the hospitality sector.”
Springboard attributed the rise in footfall in shopping centres post 8pm from the August Bank Holiday Saturday to the fact that the leisure offering in shopping centres is expanding, with more food and beverage outlets than there were last year. At the same time, shoppers now have the convenience of online shopping which negates the need for many shopping trips if the weather is less than ideal.
Wehrle said: “The other trend this seems to support is a lessening importance of bank holidays as shopping days, a result Springboard has seen over the last couple of years and follows on from dips in footfall recorded in Easter and on Boxing Day 2015.”
In addition to the August Bank Holiday footfall results, Springboard has partnered with money back website Quidco to find out how consumers are feeling post Brexit. The survey of 1,000 people found that of the 60% who intended to go out to eat and drink this weekend, two thirds of them said their spending would not be affected; with 74% revealing they would be spending the same amount this August Bank Holiday as last year.
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