Scottish footfall decreased by 16.2% in January, compared with two years earlier; a 6.6% improvement on December.
The latest Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and Sensormatic IQ data also showed that shopping centre footfall fell by 36.6% in January across Scotland, down from a decline of 31.9% in December.
In January, footfall in Glasgow decreased by 17.6% on a year-on-two-year basis – although again, this was a 4.2% improvement on December.
SRC director David Lonsdale said: “Visits to Scotland’s retail destinations finally saw a slight improvement, with January showing the least-worst footfall figures witnessed since the onset of the Covid crisis 22 months ago.
“Footfall was down by a sixth on pre-pandemic levels demonstrating there is still a long way to go before any return to normal trading.”
He pointed out that the upturn wasn’t felt across all retail destinations though, with shopping centres faring particularly poorly in January.
Lonsdale noted that shopping centres are often disproportionally geared towards fashion, which would have felt the impact of public health instructions to shun socialising.
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant for Sensormatic Solutions, commented: “Total retail shopper traffic in Scotland improved on December’s figures, breaking the pre-Christmas plateau we had seen in footfall’s recovery and recovering to the highest point since the start of the pandemic.
“Retailers will be hoping this continued consumer confidence will remain and put a spring in to the step of the high street.”
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