Shopping centre footfall increases for first time in three years

Meadowhall shopping centre Sheffield

Shopping centre footfall climbed for the first time in almost three years during January as experts hailed “the start on the road to recovery” for the retail destinations.

Customer traffic to shopping centres edged up 0.2% last month, marking the first increase since March 2017. It was also only the third month in the last four years that footfall has grown, according to data from Springboard.

Retail parks also registered an uptick in shopper numbers during January, growing 1.4%, but high streets suffered a 1.8% decline.

That meant footfall overall was down 0.5%, despite the positive figures delivered by shopping centres and retail parks.

The shop vacancy rate in town centres dropped to 9.8% – its lowest level for a year.

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