Retail footfall saw a healthy rise across the UK last month as consumers felt the benefit of low petrol prices, falling energy costs and buoyancy in the jobs market, according to Ipsos Retail Performance.
The Retail Traffic Index, compiled by Ipsos, shows that year-on-year growth in footfall was recorded across all regions of the UK for the first time in over 10 years.
In January the index increased by 2% year-on-year, following on from the 2.7% uplift in December. This is the first time there has been two successive months of growth since the corresponding months in 2014. Month-on-month footfall dropped back sharply by 37.2% compared with December, largely due to the inflated Christmas shopping figures.
Ipsos said retailers are expected to enjoy year-on-year growth for a third consecutive month in February, although the rate of growth is predicted to drop down to 1.4%. Director Dr Tim Denison said: “In years to come we may look back and mark this time as a watershed moment in retailing. Store footfall has been dropping since 2007, but the rate of decline appears to have peaked in 2013. Since then, the year-on-year gap has steadily narrowed. The high street has ridden out the effects of the internet eroding footfall volumes, and should now feel the benefits of an era of true omni-channel retailing beginning to blossom.”
Throughout January the North of England recorded year-on-year growth in traffic for the sixth consecutive month. Tim Denison continued: “There’s no better way to start the year than to report on year-on-year growth in retail footfall across all regions for the first time in over a decade. We find ourselves in a very positive position; with interest rates at a record low and deflation a strong possibility, the lowering of fuel prices has been the catalyst to harmonise growth across the country.”