March sees 6% slump in high street shoppers – the largest drop since 2010

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10th May 2018 16:44 - Retail

March sees 6% slump in high street shoppers – the largest drop since 2010: A footfall survey suggests retailers felt the full brunt of March’s dismal cold snap, with the weather keeping shoppers away from the high street. 
 
The data, compiled by Springboard, showed there were 6% less shoppers on the high street in March than the same time in 2017, when temperatures were similar to those felt in Spain. 
 
Although high street footfall was mostly affected, with an 8.6 % drop, shopping centres were also down by 4.8% and retail parks experienced a 1.8% decline – which Springboard attribute to the extreme weather. 
 
A Springboard director, Diane Wehrle said of the data:
 
“The severe weather put paid to any glimmer of hope for an uplift in shopper activity in March. A proportion of this was made up over Easter, with footfall in shopping centres and retail parks rising from last Easter, but this was more than offset by the impact of the heavy rain on high streets.”
 
In addition to the footfall data, consumer spending also fell to 2% in March, indicates the findings of Visa card user survey. 
 
“We are in the midst of a dip in consumer confidence and this – coupled with other economic factors – is causing shoppers to continue to restrain themselves,” said Mark Antipof, the chief commercial officer at Visa – whose data helps IHS Markit to compile the UK consumer spending index. 
 
 “High street sales suffered once again; however, it is also noteworthy that e-commerce spend fell for the first time in 10 months, and by its fastest rate since 2012,” he added. 
 
As well as a slump on the high street, March saw online sales dropping by 1.2% (compared to a rise of 0.3% in February) and store transactions fall 3% (compared to 2.4% the previous month), the Visa survey revealed. 


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