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Footfall increased 0.2% in March

Footfall in March increased by 0.2% compared with the same month in 2014, with high streets the only retail location to record a decline, falling 1.4%.

The overall three month average saw a decline in footfall of 0.5%.

Out-of-town locations were up by 3.8% and shopping centres increased 0.4%.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium director general, said out-of-town locations posted the biggest increases with the fifteenth straight month of footfall growth, while shopping centres posted the largest rise in shopper numbers since January 2014.

She said: “Considering that this is only the second time in the last two years that we have seen positive footfall growth in this category, retailers can view these results as promising. We can be very pleased overall with the month’s performance although it is important to note that these figures are largely driven by the timing of the Easter bank holiday.’’

Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard, added: “Footfall across the UK increased by 0.2% in March, the first increase in a year and only the third increase in the last 20 months. 

“A number of factors came into play which brought about this uplift – Easter occurred two weeks earlier than last year which meant that the two key trading days of Good Friday and Easter Saturday fell in the March trading period this year rather than in April; the ongoing and apparently accelerating attractiveness of retail parks to shoppers – in itself a result of a number of changes in both their format as many become more leisure oriented, and their role as key click and collect points for online transactions – and the move of shopping centres into positive footfall territory for the first time since January 2014.”

@Tara_Hounslea

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