// UK footfall fell by 2% year-on-year in February, according to the new BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor
// This was significantly below recent 1.1% growth over the past three months
// Shoppers shunned the retail sites in the face of storms Ciara & Dennis, with impact of coronavirus not registering
High streets and shopping centres saw a dive in footfall last month after the UK was hit by storms and wet weather, according to new figures.
The new monthly BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor has revealed that total UK footfall fell by two per cent year-on-year in February.
It said this was significantly below recent 1.1 per cent growth over the past three months, when the UK retail market was buoyed by increased political certainty following the December General Election.
- Storms & coronavirus outbreak prompt record low footfall in February (Ipsos)
- February footfall plunges 7.8% from severe rain & storms (Springboard)
- February retail sales creeps up 0.1% amid storms & coronavirus fears
Elsewhere, shopping centres saw footfall decline rapidly, sliding seven per cent for the month as shoppers shunned the retail sites in the face of storms Ciara and Dennis.
Meanwhile, retail parks reported a 1.5 per cent fall in footfall for the month, below the average of 0.8 per cent growth in the past three months.
“Multiple storms took their toll on footfall this February, particularly for shopping centres and high streets,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“The decline was less marked for retail parks, which provide easy parking and offered some salvation from the rain.”
The head of the industry group said the decline was not related to coronavirus, with the outbreak potentially leading to increased activity at the end of the month as customers stockpiled some products.
“There was a slight boost in footfall in the final week, where concerns around coronavirus may have contributed to an increase in store visits,” Dickinson said.
The impact of the storms was also particularly badly felt in certain regions across the UK, according to the survey.
Footfall in Wales saw a notable decline as it faced particularly poor conditions, with Cardiff reporting a 6.4 per cent year-on-year decline for the month.
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant at ShopperTrak, said: “While January saw shopper levels on the high street boosted by the ‘Boris Bounce’, February was a different story.
“Named the wettest February on record, we also had three named storms, which all arrived over weekend trading, and certainly dampened shopper traffic levels.”
with PA Wires