Retail boost

Scottish shoppers top footfall growth table


There was an increase in footfall last month

Scottish shoppers returned to the country’s stores in March to make it the best performing area of the UK.

Footfall rose by an eighth, or 12%, on the same month last year, though March 2022 was a period of restriction because of the Omicron variation. The Scottish figure was better than the UK average of 6.8% (YoY).

Furthermore, whilst visits to stores continues to improve, especially in shopping centres, this was the weakest overall rate of footfall growth witnessed since October, and despite the improving picture, shopper footfall remains a tenth below pre-pandemic levels.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Enhanced levels of consumer confidence and spending and will be central to Scotland’s economic recovery.

“Retailers are playing their part in trying to tempt shoppers . However, Scottish Ministers and local authorities need to continue to support the industry and retail destinations over the coming months, and consider what more can be done to entice and stimulate shoppers to return.

“A good place to start would be delivering on the First Minister’s leadership campaign pledge to accelerate the work of the city centres recovery taskforce.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, said: “We continue to see shopper numbers continue to normalise and the ebbs and flows in performance are becoming less pronounced. 

“We also see, perhaps as a consequence of hybrid working becoming the norm, the significance of the weekend rising, leaving Friday and Monday trailing behind.”

According to SRC-Sensormatic IQ data:

  • Scottish footfall increased by 12.0% in March (YoY), 2.5 percentage points weaker than February. This is better than the UK average of 6.8% (YoY).
  • Shopping Centre footfall increased by 37.2% in March (YoY) in Scotland, 4.6 percentage points weaker than February.
  • In March, footfall in Edinburgh increased by 24.4% (YoY) while Glasgow increased by 11.9% (YoY).
  • Compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, Total Scottish footfall was 10.2% lower, Scottish Shopping Centres by 16.2%, footfall in Edinburgh by 2.4 % and Glasgow by 9.5%.

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