Shopper footfall improves in Wales: Best Since December 2014

20/10/2015
  • In September, footfall numbers in Wales were 0.5% lower than a year ago, up on the 2.4% fall in August 2015. This is the best result since December
  •  This is below the UK average rate -0.2%.

 David Lonsdale, Interim Head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said: “Shopper footfall in Wales wilted slightly once again in September, albeit at a much less pronounced rate than the month before and also when contrasted to the average of the past three months. This was the best footfall result since December and the second best since January 2014.

 “Retailers and shopping destinations clearly still have work to do to attract custom, no doubt through a blend of improvements to areas including service, ranges, pricing and promotions. With the clock ticking down towards big upcoming announcements on the UK and devolved budgets in a few weeks’ time retailers’ will be looking for convincing action from the Chancellor and the Welsh Finance Minister to improve consumer confidence, as well as steadfast resistance to the relentless rise in government-inspired cost pressures which have been witnessed of late or are under consideration. Rising costs gobble up resources which otherwise would be used to grow the business.”

 Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said: “The perfect Autumn weather, additional bank holiday trading day and lowest UK vacancy rate for two years are key drivers behind relatively pleasing figures for September.  In Wales, the drop of 0.5 per cent was the best annual change for the past two years (since September 2013), and across the UK a drop of 0.2 per cent in footfall was the best year on year performance since March and the second best performing month over the last 17 months.  Perfect seasonal weather is vital to high street fashion sales with over a quarter of retailers we asked (26.8 per cent) confirming that they brought forward store drops of Autumn/Winter stock this season. Together with the additional bank holiday trading day, this boosted overall sales of outerwear and accessories, including footwear.

“Wales’s vacancy rate of 9.8 per cent is the lowest on record (since July 2011) and is undoubtedly helping to retain footfall in high streets and shopping centres, and a longer term trend to watch. Flexible leases are becoming increasingly available, with more property owners now comfortable with marketing their empty units to pop ups helping to bring much needed brands into empty space, and this increased “newness” is providing lapsed high street shoppers with a reason to visit.

“Footfall in Retail Parks in Wales clocked up a 2 per cent year-on-year increase in September, the best performing month since January 2014.  Convenience, no-cost parking and Click and Collect and strong weekend repeat customers are all helping to boost shoppers and footfall as a steady trend.”

COUNTRY and Region Footfall Analysis

 

  • Three regions reported footfall growth in September; East Midlands, Greater London and the South East. This was the South East’s first move into positive territory since February 2015.

 

  • On a three month basis all regions and nations remained down on a year ago. Note: footfall in the East Midlands was broadly flat in September but to two decimals it was slightly negative.

 

  • Other than the regions that reported positive footfall, all other regions and nations reported footfall below the UK average in September. The West Midlands and North & Yorkshire were the only regions to report footfall greater than a one per cent decline.

 

  • Footfall in all three nations improved, with Northern Ireland and Wales seeing the greatest improvements. Scotland was the worst performing nation, underperforming both Northern Ireland and Wales for the first time since July 2013.

 

Footfall % change year-on-year:

Country AnalysisFootfall

Weighted UK average

-0.2

Scotland

-0.8

Northern Ireland

-0.7

Wales

-0.5

 

 

 

 

Country and Region Analysis – Footfall Rates

 

Country analysis

Footfall:

 Sep 2015

Footfall:

Jul – Sep 2015

% change on year ago

England

Greater London

0.3

-0.2

West Midlands

-1.7

-1.9

South East

0.2

-1.2

South West

-0.4

-0.9

East Midlands

0.5

0.0

East

-0.6

-1.1

North & Yorkshire

-2.1

-2.4

Northern Ireland

-0.7

-2.4

Wales

-0.5

-2.3

Scotland

-0.8

-1.5

Weighted UK Average

-0.2

-0.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Footfall Data Tables

 

% Change year-on-yearHigh StreetRetail ParkShopping CentreWeighted UK Average
September 14

-0.6

0.5

-2.6

-0.9

October

-1.4

1.9

-1.9

-0.8

November

-4.0

0.8

-2.1

-2.4

December

-1.8

1.3

-0.1

-0.7

January 15

-1.6

1.5

-2.8

-1.2

February

-0.6

1.0

-1.5

-0.5

March

-1.4

3.8

0.4

0.2

April

-0.1

0.5

-3.0

-0.8

May

-1.5

1.4

-2.0

-1.0

June

-2.8

2.8

-2.4

-1.5

July

-2.2

3.1

-2.5

-1.1

August

-2.3

1.7

-2.8

-1.6

September 15

-1.4

4.0

-1.3

-0.2

Jul – Sep 15 average

-1.9

3.0

-2.1

-0.9

 

% Change year-on-year

UKScotlandNorthern IrelandWales
September 14

-0.9

2.0

0.2

-1.1

October

-0.8

0.5

-5.3

-3.1

November

-2.4

0.9

-0.7

-3.9

December

-0.7

1.6

1.4

-0.4

January 15

-1.2

-3.0

-2.4

-4.6

February

-0.5

1.2

1.3

-2.3

March

0.2

1.7

1.2

-1.7

April

-0.8

1.1

1.2

-3.6

May

-1.0

-1.8

-0.4

-4.3

June

-1.5

-2.4

-3.5

-3.0

July

-1.1

-2.4

-4.5

-4.4

August

-1.6

-1.5

-2.4

-2.4

September 15

-0.2

-0.8

-0.7

-0.5

Jul – Sep 15 average

-0.9

-1.5

-2.4

-2.3

12-month average

-0.9

-0.4

-1.2

-2.7

 

% Change year-on-yearGreater LondonWest MidlandsSouth

East

South WestEast MidlandsEastNorth & Yorkshire
June 15

-1.3

-0.1

-3.1

-1.0

-0.9

-1.0

-2.1

July

0.4

-1.7

-2.4

-1.3

-0.7

-1.5

-3.0

August

-1.4

-2.2

-1.6

-1.0

0.0

-1.3

-2.1

September 15

0.3

-1.7

0.2

-0.4

0.5

-0.6

-2.1

Jul – Sep 15 average

-0.2

-1.9

-1.2

-0.9

0.0

-1.1

-2.4

 

 

 

% Change Month-On-Month: UKHigh StreetRetail ParksShopping Centre
September 14

-4.0

-4.0

-3.9

October

-1.3

2.9

3.7

November

-0.7

1.0

1.8

December

6.7

7.6

16.0

January 15

-21.5

-17.6

-27.8

February

11.1

7.9

7.8

March

16.3

18.4

14.2

April

13.5

4.4

-1.9

May

3.9

4.7

3.3

June

3.2

0.1

1.0

July

2.9

2.9

3.0

August

-0.3

-1.1

0.6

September 15

-3.5

-0.2

-2.8

 

Vacancy Rate Data Tables

 

 UKScotlandNorthern IrelandWales
July 13

11.1

10.1

18.0

15.9

October

11.1

11.1

18.5

16.7

January 14

11.0

11.1

18.0

16.4

April

10.6

10.7

17.2

14.6

July

10.1

9.1

16.7

12.7

October

10.3

9.0

16.6

14.2

January 15

10.4

9.7

16.3

15.5

April

10.2

10.4

16.4

12.7

July 15

9.8

10.6

17.3

9.8

 

 Greater LondonSouth EastEast

Midlands

South

West

EastWest MidlandsNorth & Yorkshire
July 13

7.0

8.8

12.6

12.6

10.1

12.5

13.0

October

6.6

11.0

10.2

12.4

9.4

13.0

11.9

January 14

6.4

9.7

10.9

13.9

10.0

12.0

11.8

April

6.0

10.3

11.0

11.9

8.9

12.1

11.4

July

7.0

8.2

11.0

11.2

8.6

12.4

11.5

October

7.8

8.3

9.6

11.2

8.6

12.9

11.8

January 2015

7.1

8.9

9.6

9.9

6.8

15.4

12.3

April

6.8

8.8

8.3

8.9

7.7

14.7

12.6

July 2015

6.8

9.8

9.3

8.2

8.4

10.1

11.9