Search

Festive high-street footfall figures up across county as national statistics dip

PUBLISHED: 14:50 01 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:50 01 February 2016

Shoppers out in force in Norwich city centre on Black Friday. Photo : Steve Adams

Shoppers out in force in Norwich city centre on Black Friday. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Norfolk’s key shopping areas have bucked the national trend to see an increase in visitor numbers over the Christmas period.

Great Yarmouth, Norwich and King’s Lynn all saw a rise in footfall in December while nationally, figures slumped.

In Norwich, footfall figures stood at nearly two million in December 2015, up 4.3pc on the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, in Great Yarmouth, December’s footfall increased by 1pc and in King’s Lynn the figures rose by 5.2pc.

The county-wide increases are in stark contrast to figures nationally which show an overall decline in high street footfall of 4pc.

The British Retail Consortium’s report for the month of December 2015 cites a greater move to online shopping as a factor in the decline nationally.

In Norfolk a raft of specific events have helped draw visitors into town centres.

Jonathan Newman, town centre manager for Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership, said: “Overall, the town centre was up in December and that was against some difficult conditions including wet and windy weather.

“This was mainly marked by a significant growth on particular days.”

The town saw a footfall increase of 25pc on the day of the Christmas lights switch on compared to 2014, while the last Wednesday before Christmas saw a rise of 10pc.

Mr Newman said: “We also benefitted from the Coca-Cola truck visit on December 9 when the footfall in the town centre was up by 48pc.

“The feedback from retailers was that this Christmas surpassed 2014.”

Across the country, department stores saw a surge in sales in December, raking in a 2.6pc increase compared to the previous year, the Office for National Statistics said.

Mr Newman said the rise in Yarmouth was down to an increased shopping offer over the festive period spurred by free car parking in the town centre, a flurry of new shops and a temporary ice rink.

In the west of the county, King’s Lynn moved its Christmas lights event to a Sunday which saw an increase of 27pc on general Sunday footfall.

Carl Hedger from King’s Lynn Business Improvement District’s (BID) steering group, said: “Footfall last year in King’s Lynn was
excellent, bucking all national trends – aided immensely by the large number of summer events hosted in the town, which proved hugely popular.”

In Norwich the December increase was mirrored by traffic levels and car park usage according to Norwich BID, with one week in December seeing an increase of 17pc.

Stefan Gurney, executive director at Norwich BID, said: “Although people say there’s a transition to shopping online, the footfall and use of the city continued to increase over the Christmas period.”

Have you seen an increase in footfall in your town? Email
kate.royall@archant.co.uk

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Insight

After the BBC published the salaries of its highest earners, the issue of pay transparency has come to the fore. But whether a more open discussion about wages will bring benefits to businesses is not a clear-cut issue. BETHANY WHYMARK reports.

Tipples, treats and take-downs: jump into a virtual world inside Norwich gaming café One Life Left.

Green 100

cover

Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition

Read
0

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor

|

Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor

|

Business Most Read

Awards

Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100