Ipsos Retail Performance, the global retail and footfall consultants, releases a monthly report forecasting UK retail footfall trends and tracking month by month changes in footfall across different regions in the UK.
Footfall for February across the UK in 2017 had seen its biggest month on month decline in 13 years at an average of 12.6% and a year on year change of 6.5%. Scotland & Northern Ireland as well as London & South East especially suffered in February with footfall declining by 14.8% and 16.2% respectively. However, following the Christmas consumption glut, it should come as no surprise that consumers tighten their belts to some degree in the following months and adheres to expected seasonal demand fluctuations.
The new forecast from Ipsos Retail Performance paints a more positive picture with every region forecast to perform better. The forecast is especially rosy for the Scotland and Northern Ireland region which looks likely to see an increase in footfall of 5.6% this month, with the UK average footfall increasing by 2.9%, in stark contrast to the previous month’s decline. The weakest performer forecast for March is Northern England which sees a ropey recovery of 1.5% lagging behind the next, London & The South East, with a 2.9% growth.
The forecast for March looks considerably better than that of the previous month and heralds a return to normality for the retail industry following an interesting Christmas period for the retail sector. As the weather heats up consumers will return to the relevant seasonal purchases in preparation for summer. Though this increase in footfall seems overwhelmingly positive, it is important to remember that this percentage rise in footfall is amplified by the negative performance of prior months.
By Alasdair Pocock, Retail Research Analyst at Bayfield Training
Ipsos Retail Performance