Scottish shops busier as they outpace UK

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Image caption Scottish shops are outperforming the rest of the UK

Research on how busy Scottish shops are has found footfall up for the first time in nine months.

And the figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and Springboard indicate Scotland is the best performing part of the UK.

Footfall rose by 0.7% in Scotland in April. The average for the UK as a whole fell by 0.5%.

There were also fewer empty shops in Scotland. The vacancy rate of 9.8% was down from 12% in January.

The UK vacancy rate was higher at 10.2%.

Performance at tills

SRC director David Lonsdale said: “This is a more favourable set of results.

“The resumption of growth in shopper footfall after nine months of decline is positive and bodes well ahead of the publication of our retail sales data for April.

“The challenge will be for retailers to convert that into an enhanced performance at tills, and it appears those retail destinations which benefited from rising footfall were the ones which offered consumers a ‘day-out’ experience when shopping.”

The improvement in Scotland came after poor figures last year.

Diane Wehrle, of research company Springboard, said: “The context over the past two years is critical here, as the significant drop in footfall in April last year means that Scotland’s footfall is still at a lower level than in April 2017.

“The superb weather over Easter clearly delivered a boost to coastal towns and historic cities across the UK which are magnets for domestic and overseas tourists, both of which saw footfall rise in April.”

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