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Retail footfall rises in March

Retail footfall rose by 1.4% year-on-year in March as stores benefited from the month’s milder weather.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail footfall rises in March

Retail footfall rose by 1.4% year-on-year in March as stores benefited from the month’s milder weather.

The figures from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard reveal that high street and retail park footfall climbed by 2.5% and 1.5% respectively.

However, shopping centres saw a decline in their number of visits with footfall dropping by 1% in the month.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Retailers will be relieved to see footfall up from last year though this is was heavily influenced by the weather: while shoppers in 2018 were contending with the “Beast from the East”, this March has been mild by comparison. Unfortunately, the higher footfall has not translated into higher spending.”

The drop in footfall at shopping centres marked the 24th consecutive month of decline for the destinations.

Dickinson added: “It is vital that all different shopping locations are fit for the future, offering the mix of retail and experience-led opportunities that generate the necessary footfall to succeed.”

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said news of the month’s overall rise was welcome, but warned that it should be regarded as an exceptional circumstance relating to the dramatic slump in footfall in March 2018 of 6%.  She added: “The result clearly indicates that we continue to be in the midst of a no splurge culture; with consumer confidence continuing to languish, shoppers are clearly focused on prudence.”

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