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Retail parks draw shoppers as footfall dips

RetailparkRetail parks drew consumers away from high streets and shopping centres last month as footfall dropped for a second consecutive month.

Footfall in May was 1% lower than a year ago, down from the 0.8% fall in April, according to the BRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor. Both high streets and shopping centres reported a decline, falling 1.5% and 2.0% respectively.
Footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 1.4% increase year-on-year, an improvement on the 0.5% rise in April and a continuation of its positive trend.
‘The 1% drop in footfall in May – a slight dip from the 0.8% decrease in April - was driven by a worsening of high street footfall performance from a 0.1% decline in April to a 1.5% decline in May. Shopping centre footfall improved from a 3% decline in April to a 2% per cent decline in May, however, this still leaves shopping centres with a reduced footfall,’ says Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director.
‘The negative position of high streets and shopping centres is in sharp contrast with the positive footfall result of 1.4% in retail parks. Recording an increase in footfall for the past 17 consecutive months which has averaged 2.2%, retail parks are clearly the winners in the grab for consumers across bricks and mortar retail destinations. This brings into sharp contrast the long-term downward trend in high streets and shopping centres, where out of the last 17 months footfall has fallen in all but one month in high streets and two months in shopping centres.
‘'The success of retail parks is undoubtedly a function of owner driven change that has led to the introduction of a family based leisure offer in many out of town locations that previously fulfilled a purely functional role. This, in combination with plentiful and free car parking has enhanced the attraction of retail parks and improved their efficiency as click and collect locations for the ever increasing number of omni-channel shoppers. The high cost of parking in high streets and shopping centres, together with elongated travel times due to congestion means that urban destinations are at an obvious and increasing disadvantage.’