Number of shoppers in Norwich on the rise - but not everyone is feeling the love
PUBLISHED: 13:54 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 08 February 2019
Archant Norfolk 2018
Norwich has shaken off the retail woes which have been haunting the nation's high streets as it was revealed the city has seen footfall rise every year since 2014.
In the latest statistics announced by the Norwich BID, the city has actually seen rising amounts of footfall year on year.
Since 2014, Norwich has attracted more people than the previous year – bucking the national trend which has continually fallen.
2016 saw the highest bump in the amount of people heading to the county town to shop – up 2.7% on 2015.
In 2017, 2% more shoppers came to the area.
Jonty Young, marketing manager for the Norwich Lanes, said the only way was up for the city.
“Something which I believe has really driven footfall is the fact we’re seeing more Londoners coming to north Norfolk for holiday,” he said.
“When the clouds roll in on a murky day, people head into Norwich and fall in love with it. The thing we hear the most from people is: ‘I had no idea Norwich was like this – it’s such a well kept secret.’ Then they go home, they tell their friends, and word spreads that way.”
He added: “I just can’t see footfall ever falling in Norwich. You look at cities comparable to us and they don’t have the same offering or architecture, location, shopping and restaurants.”
However, retail managers have said the increases in footfall have not been felt across the board.
Chris Goulding is the manager of Langley’s toy store in the Royal Arcade, and said: “We had a very good Christmas, but we have seen footfall fall in the arcade since Primark moved to St Stephen’s Street. We’re hoping that when it reopens in a year or so it’ll pick up, but who knows what could happen in that time.”
He continued: “We’d also see more people down here if there weren’t so many empty shop fronts – especially now with Jamie’s going. We’ve been told by management they’re hopeful of a new restaurant going in there, which would be good.”
Jamie’s Italian in Norwich closed after the landowner found a new tenant.