Figures this week revealed by Springboard’s footfall monitor showed that the total shopper numbers declined in February, with a “steeper drop than normal” at retail parks.

The report revealed that year-on-year there was a drop of 1% in footfall – a cause for concern for retail managers, park managers and asset managers alike as it’s fallen at the fastest rate since November 2013.

The figures at shopping centres have been described as ‘sluggish’ by Retail Week dropping 2.6% last month – marginally below the three-month average of -2.4%.

Leisure and dining have been the main driver for high streets and destination centres (that offer entertainment), seeing an upturn in their footfall figures.

Here at the Retail Room, we know a thing or two about helping to increase footfall – whether that be during seasonal spike periods or a quiet weekend in January or September when footfall inevitably takes a hit.

Here are our three top tips to create an army of shoppers treading your retail park:

  1. Make the most of your space: Retail parks have the benefit of huge amounts of space and usually with overspill car parking space at their disposal. Why not allow local community groups and organisations to use this space to showcase their work. Does a dance group want to create a flash mob? Does your local fire station need a place to engage? How about a classic car demo? The possibilities for cheaply managed, community focused experience is a fantastic way to engage shoppers.
  2. Food glorious food: Still waiting on those food vendors to sign contracts? Don’t know when land will free up to get those vital restaurants on to your retail park? Why not create your own seasonal food festivals? Use those gaping spaces to invite portable pizza ovens, cycling coffee makers and specialist food vendors in to create a reason for your shoppers to dwell but also a reason to come and shop with you instead of the high street.
  3. Think differently about lettings: If your focus has always been on getting the big retail hitters into your empty units, perhaps it’s time to think again. Pure Gym is approaching the out-of-town centres as prime locations for their new openings. They’re easy to get to, usually with great parking and offer unusually large units at reasonable costs. Play centres are another kind of letting that offers increased dwell and footfall at off peak hours.

To talk to our team about how to increase footfall at your retail park, contact us today kate@theretailroom.co.uk.

 

 

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