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Footfall plummets during big freeze

Footfall to retail destinations has plunged year on year in the week that the “Beast from the East” and Storm Emma hit the UK.

In the week beginning 25 February, total footfall dropped by 16.6% against the previous year and by 17.1% compared with the previous week, according to retail intelligence provider Springboard.

The UK high street saw shopper numbers fall by 18.6% year on year, with footfall at shopping centres declining by 17.4%. During the same period, retail parks fared slightly better after seeing an 11.6% decrease.

However, Springboard said the overall result “belies the changes wrought throughout the week as footfall numbers deteriorated alongside the weather”, particularly by region.

Across the UK, Springboard saw drops of more than 30% in all regions of the UK by Thursday (1 March).

On Thursday Wales saw a 40% decline, which compared with 10.8% on Wednesday, while the South West saw footfall drop by 39.3%, compared with a decrease of 9% seen on the previous day.

By region, Scotland, the East and North and Yorkshire were highlighted as the areas that suffered footfall declines “more significantly and earlier in the week”.

Scotland saw year on year footfall plunge by 45.6% on Wednesday, compared with a decline of 11.3% on Tuesday.

In the East, visitor numbers dropped by 41.2% on Wednesday, compared with a decrease of 17.5% on Tuesday.


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