“It’s disappointing to see footfall continuing to fall, but we can take some comfort from the fact that the decline in shopper numbers appears to be slowing. Retailers will be crossing their fingers for better weather over the coming months and for consumer confidence to continue to build. This, in turn, should encourage more of us to venture out on shopping trips.”
– John Munro, Director of the Welsh Retail Consortium
Latest footfall figures show shoppers took to Wales' high streets 'in great numbers' last month.
In the latest High Street Index, the number of shoppers increased by nearly four per cent compared with March 2011, and nearly 17 per cent compared with February this year.
Springboard figures show that Wales is doing better than the UK as a whole, with the national footfall decreasing two per cent on March last year.
Coastal towns benefited from soaring temperatures in late March with Porthcawl, in Bridgend, achieving about a one hundred per cent footfall increase.
Wales month-on-month 16.9% increase
Wales year-on-year 3.9% increase
Porthcawl, Bridgend, saw an increase in 101.5%
The cost of petrol and parking undoubtedly played a part in the relative underperformance of regional cities in recent months, however, their recovery in March demonstrates that town centres can see a rapid turnaround of fortune.
Sales at St David's Dewi Sant shopping centre in Cardiff rose 9 per cent between April 2011 - March 2012, compared to the previous year. The number of visitors to the centre also increased by 2 per cent over the year, moving past the 38-million mark.
The positive figures for the outlet, which opened in October 2009, go against the UK-wide trend.