Footfall increased in March, with better weather helping the high street secure more shoppers than this time last year when the ‘Beast from the East’ caused havoc on figures.
Overall, footfall increased by 1.4% in March 2019, compared to the previous year when it fell by 6%.
On a three-month basis however, footfall dropped by 0.3%, with experts warning the rise does not indicate a trend, but rather a combat from an incredibly low footfall figure in March last year.
British Retail Consortium chief executive officer, Helen Dickinson, shares: “Retailers will be relieved to see footfall up from last year though this is was heavily influenced by the weather: while shoppers in 2018 were contending with the ‘Beast from the East’, this March has been mild by comparison. Unfortunately, the higher footfall has not translated into higher spending.”
Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle, adds: “At first sight the year-on-year rise in footfall of 1.4% in March appears to signify a reverse in trend from the previous two years, when footfall dropped in all but two of the past 22 months. However, whilst news of an improvement in footfall would be most welcome, it is simply not the case and instead the rise of +1.4% should be regarded as an exceptional circumstance relating to a dramatic slump in footfall in March 2018 of -6%. Indeed, this was by far the worst monthly result of the year and adversely influenced the outcome for footfall in 2018 as a whole.
“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 focussed on prudence.”
According to figures by the BRC and Springboard, high street footfall for the month increased by 2.5%, against a decline of 8.6% in March 2018. This was above the three-month average growth of 0.2%.
Retail Park footfall increased by 1.5%, in contrast to March 2018 when footfall decreased by 1.8%, while Shopping Centre footfall experienced a 1.0% dip, marking the 24th month of consecutive decline for this retail sector.