New figures have shown that Wales’ high streets are enjoying a healthy resurgence, with consumers in Wales turning out greater numbers than any other UK city.
Reporting a higher footfall than the rest of the country, figures show that spending in February grew by 1.7% when compared to 2016. This means that Wales sits above average with regards to growth rates, exceeding neighbouring cities by 0.3% for the year. However, out of town retail parks and shopping centres did not perform as well as the high streets, with consumers seeming to be flocking to city centres in February. Spending more on shopping as well as dining and leisure, many businesses are working hard to keep up momentum.
Resulting in a 1.2% increase in footfall when compared to January’s figures, these statistics show the attraction of Wales’ high streets and their ability to compete with growing trends and online shopping.
Retail parks experienced their largest decline in footfall, -1.6%, since November 2013. This is down to a decrease in people spending on furniture and household items.
Insights director at retail analysts, Springboard, Diane Wehrle, said:
“High streets are clearly benefiting as the destination of choice for dining and leisure, while shopping centres continue to underperform as they struggle with a weak entertainment and leisure offer, coupled with increasing caution amongst consumers around retail spend.”
Sara Jones, head of policy and external affairs at the Welsh Retail Consortium, said the figures were good news, particularly for high streets across Wales. Sharing her opinion in these new statistics, she said:
“The challenge for our town centres and shopping destinations will be turning this into a more sustained uptick in the months ahead, particularly as the popularity of online shopping and click and collect services continues to soar.”