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Footfall grows across all UK regions for first time in over a decade

Retailers across all regions in the UK recorded year-on-year footfall growth for the first time in over ten years during January, according to Ipsos Retail Performance.

The Retail Traffic Index (RTI) increased 2% year-on-year during January, following on from a 2.7% uplift in December. This has been the first two successive months of growth since the corresponding months in 2014. Month-on-month footfall dropped back sharply, down 37.2% compared to December, largely due to Christmas shopping footfall.

Throughout January the North of England recorded year-on-year growth in traffic for the sixth consecutive month, an accolade not achieved since November 2004.

Compared to January last year, footfall rose 3.3% in Scotland and Northern Ireland; 2.1% in the North of England and 0.8% in The Midlands. It increased 1.8% in South West England and Wales; rising 2.1% in South East England and London.

Retailers are forecast to experience year-on-year growth for a third consecutive month in February, although the rate of growth is predicted to slip to 1.4%.

“In years to come we may look back and mark this time as a watershed moment in retailing,” said Ipsos Retail Performance director Tim Denison.

“Store footfall has been dropping since 2007, but the rate of decline appears to have peaked in 2013, since then the year-on-year gap has steadily narrowed. The high street has ridden out the effects of the internet eroding footfall volumes, and should now feel the benefits of an era of true omni-channel retailing beginning to blossom.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • It would be interesting to see comparisons for footfall for fashion retail and other retail (e.g. Grocery; Specialist) split out further.

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