Given severe winter weather in March, footfall in UK Retail Markets could have been worse, recovering strongly from the horror show that was February. But the YoY trend is still weak, down by -6.3% YoY.
This reflects the overall retail scene, with Springboard’s HSI down by -6.0% for the steepest YoY fall since 2010. Winter weather is clearly a factor here – the first week of March saw falls of -17%!
But the steady downward trend reflects a wider choice of shopping channels, meaning fewer shoppers on High Streets, in shopping centres, and in markets Retail sales for March held up well, up overall by +1.1% YoY. The challenge for town centres is that 17.4% of retail spend in March happened online.
Market managers need to build their online profile, and traders need to spend as much time on their online offer as on their ‘flash’