Shopper numbers rocket in Rugby - report says

By Dan Santy 20/03 Updated: 26/03 10:47

Buy photos » Etcetera owner Bev Thomas said while trade had risen, she had not noticed a significant increase in shoppers in Rugby. 02.012.026.rug.jm1 (www.buyphotos247.com)

THE NUMBER of shoppers on Rugby's High Street has rocketed over the past year according to new research.

Retail specialists Springboard were asked to survey the town centre and found a year-on-year footfall increase of over 31 per cent in Rugby since February last year.

The town has bucked the national trend, which has seen a decline, and has experienced one of the highest footfall increases in the country alongside Rotherham, Swindon, Newport and Derby.

Diane Wehrle, research director at Springboard, said: "These high streets are proof that through deploying additional tactics, by building on their unique offering and local strengths, they have been successful in returning and attracting shoppers."

Rugby First, who commissioned the survey from Springboard, had not responded to requests for a comment at the time of publishing.

Bev Thomas, owner of independent stores Etcetera and Etcetera Style, both on Regent Street, said while trade had increased she remained unconvinced the actual number of shoppers in that part of town had risen significantly.

She said: "We are up at both shops in turnover but not footfall. Perhaps this is an indication more shoppers want something different?

"I still firmly believe the good independents will get stronger but the multiples will continue to close small branches in favour of out of town."

Springboard uses state-of-the-art cameras to electronically count the number of people walking along the High Street during a given period.

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