High streets enjoy busy Easter
High street footfall in the UK increased by 1.2% year-on-year over the Easter weekend from Good Friday to Easter Sunday according to new figures.
However, the data from retail intelligence specialist Springboard show that footfall was down by 2% overall as footfall in retail parks and shopping centres dropped by 2.3% and 8% respectively over the three days.
Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “High streets have led the surge in footfall across the UK this Easter due to their adaptability and diverse hospitality offering, which supports their ability to respond to trends more quickly than retail parks and shopping centres.”
While footfall declined on Good Friday by 5.9%, it increased by 4.6% on Easter Saturday compared to last year. Whilst Easter Sunday was not a retail trading day, footfall on high streets, many of which staged events over Easter, was up 1.8% on Easter Sunday last year.
Springboard said the trend for increased footfall outside of retail hours continues, indicating food and beverage outlets are a key driver of shopper footfall. On Good Friday, footfall dropped 8.2% between 9am and 5pm, year-on-year, but post 5pm dropped just 1.3%. On Easter Saturday, footfall rose by 1.3% between 9am and 5pm and by 18.9% post 5pm.
The company also found that Easter Monday footfall was tracking at 3.4% up year-on-year at 12pm that day.
Online transactions increased 12.4% on Good Friday compared with last year according to PCA Predict. This reversed on Easter Saturday when online transactions declined by 4.4% in line with the increase in footfall. Mobile transactions fuelled online activity, with a 9.9% rise in transactions compared with just 2.5% by tablet. PC transactions declined 12.7% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the West End of London performed much more favourably this Easter than last, with a rise in footfall of 6.8% from Good Friday and Easter Sunday compared with the same days in 2016.
Kyle Monk, head of insights at New West End Company, which represents Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, said: “A currency advantage for overseas visitors has undoubtedly helped to reinforce the attractiveness of our iconic streets as a destination to shop and to take advantage of the seasonal sales. For domestic visitors, the West End remains an incredibly important destination for retail and leisure, heightened by the improvements to its offer and the exciting new brands that continue to open flagship stores.”
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