Consumers shun shops over August Bank Holiday in favour of dining and leisure

footfall

Footfall was down this August Bank Holiday weekend as consumers opted to dine and socialise in the evening over spending money in shops during the day.

Retail destinations saw a drop in UK footfall of -4.1%, compared with the same weekend in 2015, according to retail experts Springboard. The drop – which accounted for trading on both Saturday and Sunday – is coupled with a significant increase in footfall post 5pm on both days.

Insights Director at Springboard, Diane Wehrle, comments: “Part of this drop will be due to the rain in some parts of the country, but certainly not all of it as rainy summer days are a long term characteristic in the UK. The fact that footfall improved significantly post 5pm, when it was also raining, highlights the growing demand for leisure activities – hospitality, food and beverage trips.”

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The results showed that footfall dropped by just -1.7% between 5pm and 8pm overall on Saturday and rose by +7.9% on Sunday.  In high streets, footfall rose by +1.8% on Saturday and +8% on Sunday.  During night time hours (8pm to 12am) footfall rose even more from last year – by +10.4% overall and by +17.1% in shopping centres on Saturday, and by +12.7% overall and by +17.4% in shopping centres on Sunday.

Wehrle continues: “These results indicate the growth in trips focusing on experience rather than trips purely to buy products, and the growth of the hospitality sector.

“The other trend this seems to support is a lessening importance of bank holidays as shopping days, a result Springboard has seen over the last couple of years and follows on from dips in footfall recorded in Easter and on Boxing Day 2015.

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