Northern Ireland sees shallowest footfall decline in last four-week period
Northern Ireland saw the shallowest footfall decline out of the four UK regions, according to the latest British Retail Consortium Sensormatic IQ data.
Covering the four weeks from 30th October to 26th November, Northern Ireland saw a -7% footfall decline. This was followed by Scotland at -15% and England at -15.4%, while Wales saw the steepest decline at -16.2%.
On a year-on-year basis total footfall increased by 3.7%; high streets by 8.0% and shopping centres by 7.0%. However, retail parks decreased by 4.0%.
As the cost of living continues to rise, consumers are reconsidering their spending habits and continuing to be cautious, which inevitably has an impact on footfall.
Total UK footfall decreased by 13.3% in November (Yo3Y), 1.5 percentage points worse than October. This is worse than the three-month average decline of 11.5%.
High streets footfall declined by 13.6% in November (Yo3Y), 2.0 percentage points worse than last month’s rate, and worse than the three-month average decline of 12.3%.
Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 4.2% (Yo3Y), 0.5 percentage points worse than last month’s rate and worse than the three-month average decline of 2.7%.
Shopping centre footfall declined by 23.2% (Yo3Y), 1.4 percentage points worse than last month’s rate and worse than the three-month average decline of 22.6%.
‘With three more weeks to Christmas, retailers hope that the festive spirit may still give a welcome boost to both footfall and retail sales’
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Footfall took another stumble as the cost-of-living crisis put off some consumers from visiting the shops in November. Others opted to stay home due to the scattering of rail strikes or chose the World Cup over shopping visits.
“Rising inflation and low consumer confidence continue to dampen spending expectations in the run up to Christmas. Despite retailers doing their best to keep prices as low as possible for their customers, financial concerns are trumping spending for many households. But, with three more weeks to Christmas, retailers hope that the festive spirit may still give a welcome boost to both footfall and retail sales.”
Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, said: “As retailers readied themselves for the start of peak trading ‘proper’, November brought a slew of disruption and opportunity, almost in equal measure.
“While train strikes did spell disruption to many, concerns that the untested format of a ‘Christmas World Cup’ could take the shine off retailers’ Black Friday efforts proved unfounded, with the results in-store bettering the results on the field for England and Wales.
“With footfall on Black Friday surpassing 2021 levels, retailers will be hoping this signposts a resilience in consumer demand, even in the context of the rising cost-of-living, as they head into the critical December Christmas trading period,” he added.