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UK March footfall experiences slow in recovery

By Rachel Douglass


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Leeds, UK, shopping street. Image: Unsplash

While footfall in the UK saw an increase for the month of March, the region still experienced a slow down in its recovery compared to the previous months.

Total UK footfall rose 6.8 percent year-on-year, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Sensormatic IQ insights, however this was a 3.6 percent decrease compared to February and worse than the three month average increase of 9.5 percent.

Scotland welcomed the highest footfall increase at 12 percent, followed by Wales with 9.1 percent, Northern Ireland with 7 percent and England with the lowest at 6.5 percent.

Retail footfall is also still not back to pre-pandemic levels, according to the report, with a total decrease of 10.2 percent Yo4Y, and each area seeing further falls in attendance.

Despite this, some retail locations did report positively over the period, with high street footfall rising 8.6 percent – 9.2 percentage points lower than the previous month – and shopping centre footfall increasing 8.2 percent – 3.5 points weaker than February and down from 11.6 percent as the three month average.

Meanwhile, retail parks experienced a significant 5.9 percent decrease, 2.6 percentage points lower than last month.

Speaking on the figures, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of BRC, said that one of the root causes for the decline at retail parks was that households were avoiding “big ticket purchases”.

Dickinson added: “In this challenging economic environment, retailers remain committed to keeping costs low for consumers, including expanding value ranges and offering discounts to vulnerable groups.

“However, the government should ease the regulatory burdens that hinder industry investment into lower prices.”