Footfall on the up in Scotland

Figures far from pre-pandemic levels

Photo credit: Shutterstock/ cornfield. Glasgow was the strongest performing city in footfall terms, the SRC revealed

SCOTTISH footfall showed signs of improvement in April but there is still a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic figures, the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has revealed.

Data collated by SRC-Sensormatic IQ showed footfall across Scotland rose by 14.2% in April compared to March this year. However this figure was a decrease of 52.1% compared to footfall figures from April 2019.

Consumers were also returning to shopping centres in Scotland, as data revealed footfall declined by 59.0% in April compared to the same month in 2019, up from -72.1% in March this year.

The footfall report revealed Glasgow was the strongest performing Scottish city in terms of footfall in April, with an increase of 16.4% compared to March. Glasgow footfall was still down more than half (51.8%) compared to April 2019.

David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, said: “Shopper footfall in Scotland began to recover in April in line with the phased re-opening of retail from lockdown. All retail destinations saw some improvement, especially in city centres during the final week of April as stultifying Covid restrictions ceased and shoppers took the opportunity to seek out their favourite stores.

“While these figures are undoubtedly encouraging, there is some way to go before we can say that the industry has fully turned the page on the pandemic. Parts of the economic ecosystem upon which some shops depend have yet to re-open – including some eateries, cinemas, and city centre offices. The cost of operating stores remains higher too in order to keep customers safe, given the need to spend on physical distancing and hygiene measures and PPE for staff.

“As such the next few months remain challenging. That’s why we encourage shoppers to make a point of getting out and supporting their favourite stores over the coming weeks, in turn helping to sustain these businesses and the local jobs they provide, as well as the vitality of our retail destinations.”