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Commentary for week 21 2019

The late May bank holiday weekend and the impending school half-term break had a positive impact on footfall, with an increase of +1.2% from the previous week.

While this may not appear to be hugely significant, benchmarking against the same week last year demonstrates otherwise, as the result is four times as large as the week-on-week rise of just +0.3% in week 21 in 2018.

Looking at the results by day clearly indicates the combined positive impact of the bank holiday weekend and the school half-term. Consumers clearly delayed making trips to destinations over the first half of the week, with footfall declining by an average of -1.7% between Sunday and Wednesday compared with the week before. However, from Thursday, footfall increased on each day from the previous week, resulting in a rise of +5% to the end of the week.

Footfall in all destinations rose on each day between Thursday and Saturday from the week before, but the clear winner out of the three destination types was high streets, where footfall rose by an average of +6.4% over the three days compared with +3.4% in retail parks and +3.3% in shopping centres.

Despite the uplift in footfall from the week before, the long term trend of an annual decline continued, with footfall dropping across all destinations by -2% from the same week in 2018. Footfall in high streets and retail parks declined by -1.6% and -1% respectively from last year, whilst in shopping centres the year on year decline was greater at -3.8%.

A sliver of good news here is that the rate of decline slowed, from an annual drop of -3.5% in the same week last year. Indeed, this is reflected in the annual change for the year to date which now stands at -0.8% compared with -2.6% in 2018.

The Springboard footfall index covers more than 1 billion flows across the UK between high streets, shopping centres and retail parks. 

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