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Storm Dennis Menaces the Malls as Footfall Declines by 13.1%

Storms Dennis & Ciara left big dents on UK retail footfall

The number of people who headed to the shopping centres, high street and retail parks fell dramatically over the stormy weekends this month.

• Storm Ciara, which hit the UK the weekend of 8 February saw UK retail footfall down -15.3%.
• The most affected region was the North West of England, will footfall down -18.3% on the same period of last year.
• Storm Dennis, which hit the UK the weekend of 15 February saw UK retail footfall down -16.3%. Shopping Centre foot traffic reduced by -13.1% but the High Street was affected most as footfall was down -21.4%.
• The South West and West Midlands were the most affected with footfall down -23.5% and -20.8% respectively.

Combining the statistics of both these major UK Winter storms shows that it took the toll most on High Street footfall, a decrease of -18.3% compared to Shopping Centres which decreased by -14.4%.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance said:

“The two weekends had similar impacts at a UK level, as you might expect. This is quite typical of the impact on footfall of major winter storms, though not as dramatic as white outs of previous years.
“Dennis’ impact was more localised given the storm was more about rainfall than windy conditions.
“Weather is always used by retailers to blame poor sales performances, but there is genuine cause to do so when extreme weather conditions hit the country. People simply don’t want to risk going out unless they have to.”

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