The new figures are well above the three-month average of -0.2 percent. However, the new numbers are partly credited to a calendar distortion; March 2016 included Easter Sunday, when shops were shut, whereas this year did not, adding one more shopping day, and therefore one more day’s footfall, to the period.
Seven out of the ten nations/regions reported on by the BRC saw the rise in footfall, with growth found within all three major retail destinations throughout the month:
- High street: 1.7 percent
- Retail Parks: 1.4 percent
- Shopping Centres: 0.2 percent
The regions that did not see growth included Northern Ireland, where footfall fell by 3.7 percent. This was followed by the South West, where footfall fell by 2.3 percent.
“Disappointingly though, this didn’t translate into retail sales, which were down in March on the previous year.”