THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Sports & Leisure
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
Footfall up 1.8% in three months to end January

Figures from the BRC/Springboard-ATCM Footfall and Vacancies Monitor have shown that footfall was up 1.8% in the three months to end January. This compares to a fall of 2.3% in the previous three months.


Footfall up 1.8% in three months to end January

Out-of-town shopping centres saw the highest growth in footfall with a 3.1% increase, compared with high streets where footfall was up 1.4% and shopping centres where it was up 0.8%. 

The hardest-hit regions were Scotland, down 8.5% and the South West down 7.5%. Wales, Northern Ireland and the South East fared the best with footfall up by 11.4%, 7.2% and 7.1% respectively.

The national town centre vacancy rate in the UK was 11.1% in January 2012 (high streets and shopping centres), unchanged from October 2011. The highest vacancy rates were found in Northern Ireland at 14.1%, the North and Yorkshire at 12.9% and East Midlands at 12.4%.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium director general, said: "The lift in shopper numbers for the quarter is almost entirely down to a strong Christmas. And December looks deceptively good because it's being compared with the heavy snowfall which affected the end of 2010 and kept many people at home then.

"At the start of 2012 footfall numbers dipped again, showing underlying caution hasn't changed. Worries about personal finances and job security are putting people off shopping. Although inflation has started to ease, costs are still rising faster than wages. Any significant change in consumer sentiment is going to take time.

"The rate of town centre vacancies has stayed constant across the UK as a whole but the condition of too many high streets is still bleak. The 5.6% rise in business rates due in April would be another major blow. The Chancellor has the opportunity to recognise how much town centres matter to local jobs, economies and communities by sharply reducing the scale of that rise."

Diane Wehrle, research director at Springboard, said: "Despite recent concerns over the health of high streets, footfall defied analyst expectations over the last quarter with an uplift of nearly 2%. This is positive news considering some key players have recently gone into administration and there's been a wave of profit loss announcements. For the first time in five years December saw footfall up on the previous year as savvy shoppers took advantage of heavy retailer discounting."


Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News


Retail Human Resources Summit
Retail Human Resources Summit
Wednesday 3 October 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th HR Summit 2018, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1, 3rd October 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
14 November 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre
The Retail Design Summit 2018
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
6 February 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Summit
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
20 September 2018
6th Floor 1, St. Martin's Le Grand London, EC1A 4AS
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing