We need to cap­i­talise on growth in foot­fall on our High Streets

Midweek Visiter - - Southport Bid -

THE lat­est re­port from Spring­board, the com­pany that mea­sures foot­fall on High Streets across the UK, ar­rived on our desk a few days ago.

We have two foot­fall coun­ters in South­port (one at the junc­tion of Nevill Street and Lord Street out­side Water­stones and one at the south­ern end of Chapel Street) and the data they cap­ture al­lows us to make com­par­isons against what’s hap­pen­ing in other coastal re­sorts and across the UK in gen­eral.

The re­port makes in­ter­est­ing read­ing as well as pro­vid­ing some fas­ci­nat­ing data on our shop­ping habits over this year’s Easter hol­i­day.

One of the more in­ter­est­ing trends – and this con­tin­ues the trend that we saw at Christ­mas – is that re­tail parks and shop­ping cen­tres na­tion­ally con­tin­ued to show a de­cline in foot­fall of -2.3% and -8.0% re­spec­tively whilst our High Streets recorded an over­all rise of just over 1%.

Not a mas­sive in­crease I agree but per­haps the start of a longer trend and a fur­ther demon­stra­tion of the grow­ing re­silience of High Streets in gen­eral.

One statis­tic did stand out: foot­fall post 5pm on our High Streets rose by over 10% clearly show­ing that those town cen­tres that pro­vide a di­verse va­ri­ety of evening and night time en­ter­tain­ment do suc­ceed in at­tract­ing new cus­tom.

Easter Sun­day, whilst not a tra­di­tional trad­ing day, also saw an in­crease in foot­fall on High Street driven in part by an in­creas­ing num­ber of town cen­tres that stage events on that day.

Here in South­port we would nor­mally ex­pect to see large num­bers of vis­i­tors en­joy­ing the beach, parks, and Ma­rine Lake.

What we will be do­ing next year is to bring more of th­ese peo­ple into the town cen­tre it­self by stag­ing our own Easter events.

Nev­er­the­less day­time foot­fall con­tin­ues to be hit by the rise in on­line trans­ac­tions.

The vol­ume of on­line trans­ac­tions made be­tween 9am and 5pm rose by 5.4% na­tion­ally again show­ing that an in­creas­ing num­ber of us pre­fer to shop us­ing the in­ter­net.

Much of this ac­tiv­ity is now done us­ing mo­bile phones.

Of the three on­line chan­nels (mo­bile, PC and tablet) mo­bile trans­ac­tions saw a rise of just un­der 13% com­pared to 4.7% on tablets.

The good old com­puter showed a de­cline of just un­der 10%.

I won­der just how many of us go into shops to check out a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct and then use our mo­bile phone to search out the best deal and then pay for it on­line?

A copy of the re­port will be posted on the BID web­site www.south­port­bid.com

Chapel Street in South­port, where foot­fall is mea­sured

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