Scottish footfall down on 2022 levels for second consecutive month

Footfall still in decline in Scotland

THE LATEST insights from retail experts MRI Software (previously MRI Springboard) for October 2023 have revealed year-on-year Scottish footfall dropped for the second consecutive month, as consumers continue to feel the pinch of cost of living. Footfall in Scotland was down -2.5% compared to September and down -2.3% compared to last October, only the second annual decline since April 2021. 

With Christmas approaching, consumers continue to hold back spending on non-essential items. Footfall declined year-on-year at high streets (-2.7%) and shopping centres (-5.2%) with retail parks the only destination to see a marginal annual gain (+1.7%).

Key findings:

  • Footfall across Scotland’s retail destinations declined by -2.5% from September to October, a continuation of the drop in footfall seen in August to September of -7.8%.
  • The impact of the cost-of-living crisis became evident in October as footfall was -2.3% lower than last year in Scotland’s retail destinations; this is the second consecutive month where there has been an annual drop in footfall since April 2021.
  • Footfall declined year on year in Scotland’s high streets by -2.7%, in shopping centres by -5.2% but rose in retail parks by +1.7%.
  • October was saved by a welcome boost in footfall in the final week of the month where footfall rose by +6.8% from the week before versus an average decline -2.0% in the preceding three weeks.
  • Shopping centre footfall remained flat in October at 0.0% and retail parks saw an uplift of +1.6% from September demonstrating resiliency across both destination types while Scotland’s high street saw footfall decline by -5.7%.

This year, the retail intelligence experts, predict a further year-on-year footfall drop between September and December. A challenging Christmas lies ahead for retailers and hospitality, as households continue to feel the hit of cost of living constraints, rising interest rates and inflation.

The full report can be found here –

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