Retail destinations saw a drop in UK footfall of -3.3% on August bank holiday weekend, compared with the same weekend in 2015, according to retail analyst Springboard.
The decline – which accounted for trading from Saturday August 28 through to Monday September 1 – was coupled with a significant increase in footfall post-5pm on all three days.
Diane Wehrle, marketing & insights director at Springboard, said: “Part of this drop will be due to rain on Saturday and Sunday rain in some parts of the country but certainly not all of it, as rainy summer days are a long term characteristic in the UK.
“The fact that footfall improved significantly post-5pm, when it was also raining, highlights the growing demand for leisure activities: hospitality, food and beverage trips.” During night time hours (8pm to 12am), footfall rose +10.4% overall. In shopping centres, it increased +12.7% overall.
Diane continued: “These results indicate the growth in trips focusing on ‘experience’ rather than purely to buy products, and the growth of the hospitality sector.”
Springboard noted that the hospitality offer in shopping centres has started to expand and attract more shoppers out of daytime hours. At the same time, shoppers now have the convenience of online shopping which negates the need for many shopping trips if the weather is less than ideal.
Diane added: “The other trend is a lessening importance of bank holidays as shopping days. This is a result that Springboard has seen over the last couple of years, and follows on from dips in footfall recorded in Easter and on Boxing Day 2015.”
In line with the bank holiday weekend footfall decline, ecommerce data expert PCA Predict saw an increase in online activity of +5.1% overall compared with 2015, though its online retail tracker saw traffic slow on Monday as the sun came out across the UK.
Diane Wehrle, marketing & insights director at Springboard