Bury St Edmunds’ growing reputation as a shopping destination saw its pre- and post-Christmas footfall beat national and regional figures.
Whatever figures you look at, the town shows more robust footfall than the east or the UK as a whole. Though the Black Friday bargain binge created a lull, the town bounced back.
Our Bury St Edmunds business improvement district’s figures, taken in Abbeygate Street, show that while Christmas week saw a drop of 10.3 per cent over the same week in 2013, the UK drop was 18 per cent.
As January sales kicked off last week, Our BSE’s footfall figures rose by 0.7 per cent where its data agency says the east was down 12.1 per cent and the UK down 5.4 per cent over the same week a year ago.
Our BSE chief executive Mark Cordell said: “I think Bury has got a reputation as a popular retail destination.
“It’s clean, tidy, safe, looks attractive and has a great mix of shops – almost a 50:50 split of independents and national chains – with relatively good parking charges.”
At the arc last week footfall was up 9.3 per cent on the same week a year ago, though it’s data company, Experian, says the national figure was up 2.6 per cent. The arc’s footfall for the calendar year was 4.6 per cent compared to a 2.6 per cent rise nationally.
Manager Colin Roberts said: “The majority of stores say they did OK, a little bit up on last year.
“Black Friday deals messed up the next couple of weeks, because people had spent so much, so there was a lull for a couple of weeks, which is unusual.
“But the final week was exceptional.
“People have realised just what a pleasant town this is and that we offer a good mix of shops that even bigger towns don’t match.”