Wettest February on record keeps shoppers at bay – footfall down 2% yoy. BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor shows

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UK total footfall decreased by 2.0% in February year on year, which was below both the three-month and 12-month average increases of 0.8% and 0.3% respectively, according to the latest BR-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor.

Footfall across shopping locations

  • Footfall on High Streets declined by 2.5% year on year, which was below both the 3-month and 12-month average growths of 1.1% and 0.2% respectively. 
  • Retail Parks saw footfall decrease by 1.5% year on year, below the 3-month average growth of 0.8% and the 12-month average decline of 1.1%.
  • Shopping Centre footfall declined by 7.0% year on year, which was below both the 3-month and 12-month average declines of 5.4% and 4.3% respectively.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Multiple storms took their toll on footfall this February, particularly for shopping centres and high streets. The decline was less marked for retail parks, which provide easy parking and offered some salvation from the rain. There was a slight boost in footfall in the final week as concerns around coronavirus led to an increase in store visits.”

“With the right investment in our communities, local retail will thrive. All eyes will be on the upcoming business rates review, promised in the Budget, and how effectively it can relieve the business rates burden. This would allow more money to be invested back into people, property and technology.”

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant at ShopperTrak, said: “While January saw shopper levels on the High Street boosted by the ‘Boris Bounce’, February was a different story.  Named the wettest February on record, we also had three named storms, which all arrived over weekend trading, and certainly dampened shopper traffic levels. Total footfall for the month was down 2% year-on-year nationally, and some communities in the areas particularly affected by storm flooding saw a greater year on year decline still; in Wales, for instance, footfall in Cardiff fell 6.4% year-on-year.”