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High Streets ‘build momentum’

Retail footfall reaches 2015 peak with busiest shopping weekend

RETAIL footfall reached its highest level so far in 2015 during May as Britain’s High Streets continued to “build momentum” according to Ipsos data.

The month brought the busiest shopping weekend of the year, the Ispos Retail Performance’s Retail Traffic Index revealed, as customers flocked to stores during the late spring bank holiday.
Retail Week reported that football levels beat the previous peak set during the Easter weekend by 3.2 per cent with garden centres, DIY and homeware retailers the big winners.
The index shows shopper numbers were up 9.5 per cent year-on-year over the long weekend, while football for the month rose 2.8 per cent on May 2014 and average weekly traffic increased 1.1 per cent on a month-by-month basis.
Ipsos said growth was “particularly strong” in the north of England, where footfall in May surged 8.8 per cent on the year, with double-digit growth during the late bank holiday weekend.
Footfall was up 3.7 per cent in the Midlands compared with May 2014, while Scotland and Northern Ireland recorded a 4.8 per cent jump, but south-west England and Wales reported a 1.7 per cent dip in shopper numbers, and footfall dropped 1.5 per cent in south-east England and London.
Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, told Retail Week: “The late spring holiday weekend was a real high point of the year for retailers in the home and garden sector.
“The month as a whole produced stable growth on last year’s footfall in each week of the month indicating a real momentum building in the return of shoppers to high street stores.
“Whilst the election may have impacted negatively on retail traffic for the day, the result means that recent economic policy will continue, and we can expect retail footfall to keep building.
“These stable and growing footfall figures certainly support the optimism expressed by retailers in the latest CBI survey, in which sales expectations for the next month are at their highest level for 27 years. It all bodes well for some busy summer months ahead for the trade.”

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