Footfall falls

Scots high streets suffer biggest fall in shoppers

Shop-vacancies-on-Princes-Street
Shopper footfall is down sharply (pic: Terry Murden)

Retailers are hoping the Jubilee holiday weekend will get June off to a good start after new data showed footfall in May slumped 16.4% in Scotland against the UK average decline of 12.5%.

The figures, which are  compared to pre-pandemic figures in 2019, have left Scotland languishing bottom of the UK league table for visits to stores.

David Lonsdale, director, Scottish Retail Consortium, admitted the rail dispute may have been a factor.  

“However, the performance wasn’t uniform across all retail destinations,” he said. “Visits to shopping centres improved slightly and for a fourth consecutive month, whilst in Glasgow it remained on a par with the month before which was the joint best performance so far this calendar year. 

“Hopefully, this dip in foot-traffic will prove temporary although concerns over the economic outlook, rising cost of living and continued absence of some commuters remain.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, commented:  “As they look ahead to June, retailers will be hoping that High Streets will be rallied by the Jubilee weekend celebrations and that the event will prompt ambient shopper traffic and retail spend.” 

While the figures across the UK are a concern, data from Europe shows it is even worse in some other countries. Italy saw a 19.4% fall, Germany 20.2% and France 21.6%.  

TOTAL FOOTFALL BY NATION AND REGION (% CHANGE ON 2019) 

GROWTH RANK  REGION  % GROWTH Yo3Y  
1  North West England -8.2% 
2  East Midlands -9.9% 
3  Yorkshire and the Humber -10.7% 
4  West Midlands -11.3% 
5  East of England -11.9% 
6  England -11.9% 
7  South West England -12.5% 
8  South East England -12.9% 
9  Northern Ireland -12.9% 
10  London -13.1% 
11  North East England -15.3% 
12  Wales -16.0% 
13 Scotland -16.4% 
Source: British Retail Consortium


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