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Footfall up on high streets but shopping centres underperform

High street footfall was 3.2% higher last week than in the same period in 2013, while retail parks and shopping centres saw a drop in the number of shoppers year on year.

Overall, footfall to all retail locations last week increased 0.7% year on year, according to Springboard data. Retail parks and shopping centres recorded declines of 1.1% and 2.5% respectively.

Scottish high streets experienced the highest spike in footfall across the UK, with 12% more shoppers recorded for the week than in 2013. This was a 14.3% increase on the previous week. This sharp rise is understood to be partly attributable to higher footfall in Scottish town centres as campaigning for the referendum continues.

The only region where high street footfall was lower than in 2013 was the West Midlands, which saw a 6.9% drop year on year.

However, all three sectors saw a decline in footfall compared to the previous week. Retail parks were hit the hardest with a 6.2% fall, while on the high street shopper numbers fell by 0.7%.

Springboard’s director of retail insights Diane Wehrle said: “High streets have bucked the trend this week; up against the same week last year, which ended 7% down due to stormy weather.

“The same anomalous weather however did not have the same positive effect on retail parks and shopping centres, with retail parks seeing their sixth weekly annual decline this year and shopping centres down in all but seven regions.”

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