Easter fails to rescue plunging March footfall figures

consumer confidence May

Bricks-and-mortar retail suffered a blow in March as the Beast from the East contributed to the heaviest year-on-year drop in footfall since records for the Retail Traffic Index began a decade ago.

The number of people entering non-food outlets dropped by 11.5 per cent last month compared to the same period last year, and overall, footfall across the UK has now fallen for the 11th consecutive month.

As blizzards and heavy snow continued to grip the country during the first week of March, retailers experienced a massive 28.8 per cent per cent decline in footfall against the same week in 2017.

The figures, from Ipsos Retail Performance, also show that despite Easter falling at the end of March, footfall failed to pick up over the bank holiday.

This is in line with recent data from Springboard, which said high street footfall dropped over the four-day Easter weekend – although there was a footfall boost in retail parks and shopping centres.

According to Ipsos, the South East and London was the biggest casualty, with footfall down by 15.5 per cent.

This was followed by Scotland and Northern Ireland with a 13.4 per cent drop and The Midlands with a decline of 12.3 per cent.

The Retail Traffic Index is derived from the number of individual shoppers entering over 4000 non-food retail stores across the UK.

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