Scotland’s drop in attendance calls for budget increase
Scottish attendance fell 19.8% in November, compared to 2019 figures, which were also down 2.8% from October.
Data from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and Sensormatic IQ also showed this figure to be lower than the UK average drop of 15.7%.
For the fourth month in a row, Scotland experienced the largest drop in attendance of any country in the UK.
Attendance at Scottish shopping centers fell 28% in November compared to the pre-pandemic period, down from 26.3% in October.
In November, attendance in Glasgow fell 22.2% from the same month in 2019, down 3.8% from October.
SRC director David Lonsdale said the latest numbers were the lowest in four months.
“Footfall has declined in all retail destinations, with the drop in Glasgow being more pronounced and the smallest in five months.
“Indeed, Glasgow had the weakest performance of the 11 UK cities surveyed, confirming anecdotal reports from some retailers on the short-term negative impact on ridership of transport restrictions and protests associated with the home of COP26. “
Lonsdale continued, “These figures from dreich are deeply disturbing and come during what could be a decisive festive trading period for some companies in the industry.
‘Scottish retailers have looked with growing envy on their counterparts in Northern Ireland who have seen a demonstrable increase in the introduction of a voucher system there, which has increased revenue by £ 100million. these last weeks.
“Next week’s Scottish budget is to boost the growth engine and support the sector over the next few months – which is why the industry is calling for action to boost consumer confidence and blunt the full recovery to 100% of commercial rates early next year for all local retail businesses. “
The Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has also written to Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, highlighting the difficulties retailers face in the ongoing pandemic, without any support through the rate relief planned for other businesses.
Kevin Robertson, SPF chairman, said: “We have a counterintuitive commercial tariff system in Scotland which can penalize property owners for improving the sustainability of their buildings and this needs to be addressed.
“With the unfortunate discovery of the Omicron variant threatening to slow the reopening of our city and downtown economies, we have supported calls from the broader business community for tariff relief for the retail sectors. retail, hospitality and leisure.
“But we need further action from the Scottish Government to help businesses which have not been directly supported in the past two years.”
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant at Sensormatic Solutions, pointed out that this is only the second time in 2021 that there is a monthly slowdown in the Main Street recovery, as consumer confidence continues to rise. and the resurgence of reconstructed bricks and mortar.
“Usually in November we would expect an increase due to Black Friday, which traditionally marks the start of Christmas spending, but as we saw attendance increase by a third (+ 35%) from a week on the other, the number of shoppers on Black Friday was still down about one-fifth from pre-pandemic levels, possibly due to a polarized flow in buying behavior. Christmas we are witnessing.
“Those who bought early in an effort to avoid the crowds and minimize the risk of supply chain disruption shopped even earlier this year, contributing to the October boom and lull November; meanwhile, we still expect to see those “last minute” shoppers on the shopping streets in december. “
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