Rotherham town centre sees boost in shopping numbers

Trend-bucking Rotherham defied doom and gloom on the high street and saw shopper numbers soaring by a quarter last month.

A new report published this week revealed that footfall in the town centre during February was up 28.6 per cent on the same month last year, putting the town second in a national league table of star shopping destinations.

Retail specialist Springboard tracked visitor numbers in 350 towns and cities around the country and recorded a 5.7 per cent decrease nationally.

Rotherham’s rise was beaten only by Rugby’s 31.1 per cent spike in shopper numbers, leaving the town’s retail investment manager Bernadette Rushton declaring that its success was down to offering “something different.”

Springboard attributes the subdued results nationally to several factors, including the disruptive widespread snowfall early in the month and the coldest February in over a decade encouraging shoppers to stay indoors.

Half term marked a high point for town centre footfall nationally, with UK high streets seeing 7.1 per cent increase compared with a 5.7 per cent overall drop last month when compared with the same period last year. 

Across the north and Yorkshire region, shopper numbers were down 1.8 per cent.