High streets enjoy footfall uplift despite wet weather
The data from UK retail specialist Springboard shows that a rush to return and exchange unwanted Christmas gifts on 'Take Back Tuesday' triggered a 5.1% year-on-year footfall rise across UK high streets. A second peak was seen on Saturday 2 January with footfall across UK high streets grrowing by 9.7% as shoppers made the most of the New Year sales.
Despite the peaks, footfall in high streets from Monday 28 December to Friday 1 January inclusive was down 3% year-on-year, with footfall declining by 2.6% on New Year's Day. This compares with an increase in the corresponding period last year of 6.2% and 14.2% on New Year's Day.
Meanwhile, out of town retail parks and shopping centres only saw growth of 0.3% and 4.8% respectively on Saturday 2 January.
From 28 December to 1 January, out of town retail parks enjoyed a footfall uplift of 3.6% year-on-year, with New Year's Day prompting an increase of 7.8%. Shopping centres saw footfall rise by 1.8% in the week with a peak increase of 9.2% on New Year's Day.
Diane Wehrle, insights and marketing director at Springboard, said: "Building on strong footfall experienced by high streets this time last year was always going to be a challenge for high streets, and these figures show there a job to be done in 2016 to in order for a positive uplift to be realised.
“Throughout 2015, high streets continued to be challenged by the convenience, choice and customer service shoppers can find in out of town retail parks and shopping centres. There is a real opportunity for High Streets to improve their offer, without overhauling their infrastructure, in a bid to win back shoppers this year and hold off the continued rise of footfall to out of town retail parks in particular."
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