Footfall boost from tourism bump
We have now reverted to using Year-on-Year (YoY) footfall change. We will still provide a comparison to pre-pandemic levels (Yo4Y) in the first table (and last bullet) for continuity.
Covering the four weeks 01 January – 28 January 2023
According to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data:
- Total UK footfall increased by 12.5% in January (YoY), 2.6 percentage points worse than December but better than the 3-month average increase of 10.3%.
- High Streets footfall increased by 20.2% in January (YoY), 0.5 percentage points better than last month’s rate and better than the 3-month average increase of 15.2%.
- Retail Parks saw footfall decrease by 3.5% in January (YoY), 1.9 percentage points worse than last month’s rate and worse than the 3-month average decline of 2.9%.
- Shopping Centre footfall increased by 12.4% in January (YoY), 1.0 percentage points worse than last month’s rate but better than the 3-month average increase of 10.2%.
- England saw the highest increase in footfall of all nations and regions at +16.2%, followed by Wales at +14.6% and Scotland at +12.2%. Northern Ireland saw the lowest increase at +9.1%.
- Compared to pre-pandemic levels (Yo4Y), Total Footfall decreased by 6.5%; High Streets by 8.5%, Retail Parks decreased by 7.7%, and Shopping Centres by 25.2%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Footfall saw strong growth this month as employees made more trips into the office and international tourism improved, compared with last year when some Covid restrictions were in place. Growth was most pronounced in high streets and shopping centres as many shoppers sought out a bargain in the January sales. Meanwhile, retail parks faltered as the cost of living crisis put many shoppers off buying big-ticket home products often located there.
“Retailers will welcome this recovery, and despite the cost of living squeeze, footfall has continued towards its pre-pandemic levels. The challenge for retailers will be to convert this extra footfall into sales, at a time when many consumers are reining in their discretionary spending. Government could capitalise on the growth in tourism by reintroducing VAT-free shopping to help entice even more international shoppers to the UK.”
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, commented: “High Street performance started off the year on a positive footing, with total UK footfall seeing a robust rise on 2021 levels. Shopper counts rallied despite the threat of disruption from ongoing rail strikes, cold snaps and shaky consumer confidence. While retailers will take heart from the demand signals that bricks-and-mortar remains shoppers’ channel of choice, footfall levels hover stubbornly just below pre-pandemic levels, even though January saw the highest recovery point in the past year. With the economic outlook continuing to put inflationary pressures on consumers’ discretionary spend and, facing inflationary pressures of their own across their manufacturing, supply chain and labour costs, retailers will once again have to run even faster to stand still. This will put the emphasis squarely on doubling down on operational efficiencies, as well as focusing on core ranging that delivers value to price-sensitive shoppers.”
MONTHLY TOTAL UK RETAIL FOOTFALL (% CHANGE YOY)
UK FOOTFALL BY LOCATION (% CHANGE YOY)
RETAIL FOOTFALL (% CHANGE ON 2019)
This data has been provided for continuity
TOTAL FOOTFALL BY NATION AND REGION
|GROWTH RANK||NATION AND REGION||% GROWTH YoY|
|5||East of England||11.1%|
|7||South East England||10.5%|
|8||Yorkshire and the Humber||10.1%|
|9||North East England||9.2%|
|11||North West England||8.0%|
|13||South West England||6.7%|
TOTAL FOOTFALL BY CITY
|GROWTH RANK||CITY||% GROWTH YoY|