Positive weather helped lift retail footfall in the UK in March, compared to the same month in the previous year, according to the British Retail Consortium’s Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.
According to the study, overall retail footfall in March 2019 increased by 1.4%, whereas it fell by 6.0% in the same month last year.
High-street footfall increased by 2.5% in March 2019 and declined by 8.6% in March 2018.
“Retailers will be relieved to see footfall up from last year, though this was heavily influenced by the weather,” said Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium. “Unfortunately, the higher footfall has not translated into higher spending.”
Dickinson added that it is very important to keep different shopping locations fit for the future, so that footfall can increase.
This transformation could be supported by government, by reforming the outdated business system.
Diane Wehrle, director for Springboard Marketing and Insights, explained that footfall has dropped in all but two of the past 22 months.
As footfall slumped by 6% in March 2018, the increase of 1.4% this March should be regarded as an exceptional circumstance, Wehrle said.
“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,” she said.
Beast From The East
In the first week of the month, footfall rose by 17.6%, but in 2018, it dropped by 16.6% because of the ‘Beast from the East’ hitting the UK.
The last week of the month indicates a similar pattern. This year, it was a positive week, with a rise of 1.2%, whereas in the corresponding week in 2018, footfall dropped by 1.3% because of poor weather in the UK.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jana Zimmermann. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.