Retail footfall growth slowed slightly in February as shoppers tightened their belts after Christmas and the January sales. However, year-on-year figures showed that high street and shopping centre footfall was up considerably!

According to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor, total UK footfall was up 10.4 per cent on February 2022. Within this, high street footfall last month jumped by 17.8 per cent (YoY), which was 2.4 percentage points worse than January’s rate, and shopping centre traffic increased by 11.7 per cent (YoY from February 2022).

Retail parks saw footfall fall by 3.3 per cent, yet this was 0.2 percentage points better than January’s figure.

Wales saw the highest increase in footfall of all nations at 14.9 per cent, followed by Scotland at 14.5 per cent and Northern Ireland at 12.7 per cent. England saw the lowest increase at 11.8 per cent.

“High streets continue to show the biggest improvement compared to last year, when concerns around COVID kept people away from town and city centres,” said Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC.

“Consumer demand remains fragile, owing to the ongoing cost of living crisis and weak consumer confidence.”

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, added: “We are, at least, starting to see footfall normalising,” but he warned:

“While the fluctuations in footfall are now less volatile, creating a new baseline against which to benchmark High Street performance, it doesn’t mean the footfall recovery has yet fully turned a corner.

“Looking ahead, retailers delivering value – whether that’s through ranging or by giving shoppers compelling reasons to visit stores – will remain central to turning the tide on footfall performance.”