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Commentary for week 20 2019

Despite the rain and cool temperatures, footfall across the UK rose by +4.3% from the week before, an improvement on the modest rise of +0.2% last year. However, this was not nearly enough of an uplift to drive an annual increase, with footfall declining by -2.5% from week 20 in 2018.

While this result looks fairly dispiriting, it must be remembered that this is against a strong comparable of +1.9% last year when footfall benefited from the feel-good factor arising from a combination of the football world cup and the royal wedding. This was particularly the case for high streets last year, where footfall rose by +4.6%.

The performance of high streets and shopping centres in week 20 was largely comparable, with annual drops of -3.3% and -2.8% respectively. Retail parks fared better with only a marginal decrease in footfall of -0.5%, but this was wholly due to a particularly strong performance on Saturday when footfall rose by +12.3% over the year. Shopping centres also fared well on Saturday with a rise in footfall of +7.8%, but the week a as a whole was dragged down by declines in footfall on every other day that averaged -5%.

Geographically the winners in terms of the uplift from the week before were the West Midlands, the North and Yorkshire, Northern Ireland and Wales with footfall rising by at least +6%. On an annual basis, footfall declined in every geography, though in six areas the magnitude of this drop was less than the average for the UK of -2.5%.

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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