May saw the biggest surge in people coming into the city’s BID area – up 13.4% to almost 1.2 million – and January to July saw a 6.7% to 7.5 million. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s main retail district has enjoyed 12 consecutive months of footfall growth year-on-year – bucking the national trend, according to the latest figures from the Liverpool BID Company.
May saw the biggest surge in people coming into the BID area – up 13.4% to almost 1.2m with April, June and July also seeing footfall rises of 8.2%, 9.8% and 1.5% respectively. July and August traditionally see a small dip compared to the other summer months as more people jet off on their summer holidays.
Figures are for most of Liverpool’s main shopping streets, including Church Street, Lord Street, Bold Street, Parker Street, Whitechapel and Williamson Square, but exclude the Liverpool One estate.
Footfall for the January to July period was up 6.7% to 7.5m, compared to the same period in 2017 and over the past year the retail district has seen an average monthly rise in footfall of 75,000.
St John’s Shopping Centre, which celebrates its 50th year next year, also saw an extra 200,000 shoppers through its doors in the first few months of 2018.
Nationally the high street has been in decline with figures country-wide showing a 2.7% drop in footfall drop so far this year. The city is also doing well in comparison to its main northern competitors who saw a 0.9% reduction in footfall for the same period.
The figures come ahead of new redevelopments such as the new flagship LUSH store coming to Church Street in the former Dorothy Perkins unit, and the ongoing transformation of Metquarter, which will welcome new brands, including Kids Cavern, restaurants and the four-screen, boutique cinema by Everyman.
Shoppers are also eagerly awaiting the redevelopment of the former BHS store in Lord Street with reports suggesting fashion retailer H&M will be the new occupant. The chain already operates two outlets in the city centre.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, said: “It is incredible to see Liverpool bucking the national trend and reporting such positive results.
“What is particularly encouraging is when you consider that these figures come during a period of real disruption for our retailers and visitors alike, including the closure of Lime Street station and various strike action affecting both our bus and train networks.
“It not only shows the resilient nature of our levy payers but endorses the ongoing work that Liverpool BID Company does to attract as many people as possible to the city centre.”
In July, Liverpool BID Company secured a yes vote from businesses for a further term of the Retail & Leisure BID (from November 1, 2018 – May 31, 2023), backing a £5m masterplan to further improve safety and cleansing and boost footfall through events and animation in the city centre.
Key projects in the business plan includes the £250,000 investment into the creation of a dedicated cleaning team, the BID Street Rangers