January’s footfall, which dropped just 0.5 percent from January 2019 has brought “some stability” for stores, explains retail insights firm Springboard.

This was reinforced by an improvement in shop vacancies, with the rate of 9.8 percent being the lowest for a year, and below the rate of 9.9 percent in January 2019.

Footfall in retail parks rose by 1.4 percent from January last year, which Springboard states demonstrates “their ability to bridge the gap between functionality and experience, and cater for the needs of today’s efficient shopper”.

While footfall in shopping centres rose by 0.2 percent from January 2019, the first month with an increase since March 2017, and only the third month in four years when footfall has risen, which Springboard notes could be the start for recovery for shopping centres.

However, footfall in high streets declined by 1.8 percent in January, as some consumers were attracted back into shopping centres.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said: "January was the first month since March 2017, and only the third month in four years, that footfall in shopping centres rose; and whilst a rise of +0.2 percent is only a modest increase it brings some much-needed hope for this destination type that has consistently lost shoppers for over two years. It seems that this is an early sign that the regeneration schemes long-planned by owners to broaden the offer of malls to incorporate a greater experiential element, particularly in the larger malls, are working and they now better reflect consumers demands.

“This result reinforces the benefit of a single ownership structure and also demonstrates the realisation that the old format of 100% retail is no longer relevant.”

 

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