Footfall lift for retail ahead of eagerly awaited industry action plan
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 29 January – 25 February 2023
According to WRC-Sensormatic IQ data:
- Welsh footfall increased by 14.9% in February (YoY), 0.3 percentage points better than January. This is better than the UK average increase of 10.4% (YoY).
- Shopping Centre footfall increased by 13.8% in February(YoY) in Wales, 8.2 percentage points better than January.
- In February, footfall in Cardiff increased by 12.2% (YoY), 3.2 percentage points worse than January.
- Compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, Total Welsh footfall was 10.0% lower, Welsh Shopping Centres by 32.8% and footfall in Cardiff by 13.4%.
Sara Jones, head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said: “Shopper footfall across Welsh retail destinations perked up further last month compared to the year before, encouraging news for the sector at what remains a challenging time given the costs crunch afflicting households and businesses. Visits to stores was up almost 15% on the same month last year, with Wales recording the best footfall figures of the GB Nations. However, this was hugely flattered by the weak comparable period twelve months ago, when Welsh stores were still heavily under Covid restrictions and when consumer confidence was at a low.”
“That said, footfall remains 10% down on pre-pandemic levels and its recovery remains protracted. The health of the Welsh economy is highly dependent on what happens to consumer spending, and this will be tested further in the coming months as inflation and household energy bills remains elevated.
“Our industry is facing a number of regulatory challenges which will see spiralling cost heaped on retailers who are facing ever-increasing operational cost pressures. We are calling for a moratorium on any new regulation until the sector has fully recovered, allowing some much-needed breathing space to build resilience. And we need decision makers to inject some positivity into the sector through its eagerly awaited industry action plan, a plan which could generate the sustained action needed to entice shoppers back to our retail destinations and excite retailers about the prospect of future growth.”
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, commented: “Facing multidirectional headwinds – from the long shadow cast by covid to the ongoing consumer caution caused by the rising cost-of-living – we are, at least, starting to see footfall normalising.
“While the fluctuations between footfall are now less volatile, creating a new baseline against which to benchmark High Street performance, it doesn’t mean the footfall recovery has yet fully turned a corner. Retailers are still grappling with underlying uncertainty as they try to keep pace in the context of these multifaceted challenges. Looking ahead, delivering value – whether that’s through ranging or by giving shoppers compelling reasons to visit stores – will remain central to turning the tide on footfall performance.”
MONTHLY TOTAL WELSH RETAIL FOOTFALL (% CHANGE YoY)
UK FOOTFALL BY LOCATION (% CHANGE YoY)
WALES 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||+12.2%|
|8||South East England||+8.7%|
|9||South West England||+8.3%|
|10||North West England||+7.0%|
|12||Yorkshire and the Humber||+6.1%|
|13||North East England||+3.6%|
TOTAL FOOTFALL BY CITY
|GROWTH RANK||CITY||% GROWTH YoY|