The week on week increase in the UK National Index for retail footfall is one that follows an historical trend from week 20, leading into next month. Year on year, store traffic volumes declined by 3.4%, with a shortfall occurring each day. We saw a near identical year on year decline (3.6%) at this time last year, a week when the Armed Forces staged a Diamond Jubilee tribute to the Queen at Windsor.
Retail Conversion – The Coffee Table Theory
When evaluating retail conversion across your estate, you’d be wise to think about this metric as a leg on a coffee table.
Sure, like a single table leg, retail conversion analysis is important – but it’s actually not very useful on its own. In fact, there are three other ‘legs’ of information that you require in order to truly understand the impact of conversion in your stores:
Mixed month for April footfall
This month the UK National Index shows a decline in footfall of 1.2% month on month with a decline of 4.4% year on year, a slight pick up year on year from the previous month.
These figures will be slightly distorted by the fact that Easter was in April last year and March this, so both month on month and year on year are not true like for like comparisons.
Regionally we saw the majority of regions declining year on year with the notable exception of some of the Eastern regions especially the North East and Eastern England showing some positive year on year growth throughout April. Northern Ireland also had a positive growth pattern for the last 2 weeks of the month. It will be interesting to track these regions over the next few months to see if this is an indicator of increased consumer confidence in some previously hard hit regions of the UK.
This week we saw a week on week decline of 4.2% for retail traffic in the UK National Index which also fell by 3.8% year on year. Sunday 12th showed an increase year on year of 7.1%. On all other days, footfall was down against the same time last year. Monday 6th was a bank holiday in the UK resulting in a decline in traffic of 15.8% year on year. This is no doubt due to the welcome injection of some hot and sunny weather over the Bank Holiday weekend with consumers spending valuable time outdoors.
Conversion and workforce management
Is your workforce management planning helping you to maximize the in-store opportunity and grow sales as well as taking the ‘work’ out of workforce rostering?
The traditional workforce management (WFM) approach is to generate sales forecasts for your stores and then generate a series of staff rosters based on that sales demand. The problem with this approach is that you’re determining a staff roster based on an incomplete view – of only the sales you did make rather than the sales that you could have made; your full sales potential.
This week the UK National Index showed an increase of 3.5% in retail footfall week on week. Year on year we see a decline of 2.3%. There were fluctuations throughout the week with Wednesday and Sunday the only days showing an increase year on year, of 1.7% and 7.1% respectively. Regionally again we see 2 regions with positive year on year changes, North East and East Midlands showing 0.6% and 1.3% respectively.
Retail conversion costs revealed
Retail metrics are so focused on revenues and customer conversion, that we sometimes lose sight of the costs required to achieve this. Profitability is what helps retailers stay and strive in business.
True, revenue is simpler to record and analyse, but is far from the full picture. An accurate record of store-based costs is often readily available within your internal financial systems, but is often hard to combine with other retail data such as conversion levels. Instead, it is the monthly preserve of the Finance department to lovingly play with this data in their separate spreadsheets at month-end.
This week the UK National Footfall Index is down week on week by 12% this could be a result of the warmer summer weather, with consumers taking advantage of the positive effects by spending time outside. Year on year we see a decline of 5.3%. Throughout the week each day saw a year on year decline of around 5%
This week sees us return to business as usual after the Easter break and presents a 1.4% increase week on week for the UK National retail footfall Index and a year on year decline of 5.8%. Only the North Eastern region showed an increase year on year of 1.7% with six of the 11 regions showing increases week on week.