Experian Footfall Index: fresh snowfall hampers shopper numbers

Experian: snow impacts footfall

Experian: snow impacts footfall

Consumer behaviour analyst Experian has released shopper footfall data for the week commencing 6 Feburary 2012. It reveals:

Experian FootFall Retail Index – UK National Weekly: 
Change for week 06 (6–12 February 2012): +4.3%
Change for week 06 year-on-year: -7.3%

Experian FootFall Retail Index – Retail Park Weekly: 
Change for week 06 (6–12 February 2012): +3.1%
Change for week 06 year-on-year: +2.6%

Weekly footfall levels for the UK National Index showed a positive week-on-week growth of 4.3%.

However, compared to the same week last year, there was a 7.3% reduction in footfall, which can be attributed to the fresh snowfalls last week with Friday being reported as the coldest night of the winter with temperatures as low as -18˚C, said Experian.

Families who planned getaways for the half-term may have been forced to cancel or delay trips due to the dangerous road conditions, similarly shopping trips may have been postponed as the weekend reported a drop of shopper numbers by 10% compared to the same weekend last year.

Although the expected weekend rush for Valentines may have been jeopardised by freezing weather conditions, it now remains to be seen if we see an increase in last minute shopper levels early next week, said researchers.

The Retail Park Index experienced a week-on-week increase of 3.1% and 2.6% increase on the same period last year. It was a good performance given the weather conditions the UK experienced, said Experian.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show inflation fell to 3.6% in January, as the impact of last year’s VAT rise to 20% in January 2011 is no longer shown in the figures.

Forecasters are predicting further drops in the inflation rate this year. If this happens, it should bring some relief for cash strapped consumers, said Experian.