Chester bucks national trend with Christmas footfall boost

Chester bucks national trend with Christmas footfall boost

Footfall data shows 10% uplift in visitors to Chester’ city centre over the festive period despite a drop in high street shopper numbers across the UK

New research has shown that shopper footfall in Chester increased by almost 10 per cent over the Christmas period despite industry data showing a decline in high street visitor numbers across the UK.

Figures released this week by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard have again highlighted how 2015 was a tough Christmas for UK retailers, but a report provided to CH1ChesterBID shows that Chester enjoyed a bumper December with more than 2.1 million city centre visitors during the month.

The data – compiled by retail intelligence experts Springboard – reveals that city centre visitor numbers were up 9.6 per cent throughout the month, which is in stark contrast to the rest of the UK where overall footfall was down by 3.9 per cent.

The report also show that footfall throughout 2015 on Chester’s high street increased by 2.3 per cent compared to the previous year, again beating the UK average, which showed a dip of 2.0 per cent.

“These footfall figures make fantastic reading for the city and show an upward trend that we’re determined to continue,” said Ed Oliver, Chairman for the city’s business improvement district, CH1ChesterBID.

“Much has been said about high street footfall being down across the UK last Christmas but these statistics prove that we managed to buck the trend and we’re incredibly proud of that achievement.

“Over the festive season we made it our mission to provide a spectacular programme of events with Chester Kidsmas including the arrival of the iconic Coca Cola truck, which significantly helped to boost footfall during the month of December. We also celebrated Chester’s history and heritage through our Chester Unlocked project throughout 2015 and again this encouraged more people to visit our high street and explore the wonderful range of shops on offer.”

The Springboard report highlighted Saturday 5 December as Chester’s busiest day with almost 100,000 people on the city’s high street. The increase in footfall also came despite there being twice the amount of rain days in December 2015 compared to the previous year.

Ed added: “It’s wonderful to see a steady increase in visitor numbers – especially with the statistics showing a decline across the rest of the UK – but we know that we have to keep on working hard to ensure people continue coming back to the city centre.

“It’s now more important than ever for us to work closely with city centre businesses to build on this positive momentum and we’ll be calling on all of them to help us do exactly that throughout 2016 and beyond.”