Taylor Swift helped boost Scottish retailers last month, figures show

Footfall in shopping centres 'outperformed the national average', credited to Swift's concerts at Murrayfield.

Taylor Swift Era’s Tour helped boost Scottish retailers last month, figures show Getty Images

Scotland enjoyed retail growth last month thanks in part to Taylor Swift’s Eras tour and the kick-off of Euro 2024, according to an industry body.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) also said footfall in shopping centres “outperformed the national average”.

Overall retail footfall increased in Scotland by 0.2% in June year-on-year, up from minus 5.4% in May, described as “significantly higher” than the UK average decrease of 2.3% year-on-year.

Shopping centre footfall rose 1.2% last month year-on-year in Scotland, 3.0 percentage points better than May.

The UK’s general performance was described by the SRC as “weak” between May 26 and June 29.

Retailers in Edinburgh performed better than Glasgow over the month, which was attributed to Swift’s concerts at Murrayfield and the Royal Highland Show.

Footfall in Edinburgh increased 2.4% year-on-year, while in Glasgow it rose by 2.2% – however Belfast saw the most growth overall in the UK at 3.7%.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, deputy head of the SRC, said: “A modest 0.2% uplift in Scottish shopper footfall in June was nonetheless the best of a weak set of figures across the UK.

Taylor Swift performs at Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium on June 07, 2024 Getty Images

“A welcome combination of concerts, events and the Euros offset the cool weather to encourage Scots to visit retail destinations.

“Shopping centres outperformed the national average, with a 1.2% increase.

“After a difficult run, Glasgow saw its first increase in footfall this year with a 2.2% increase, hopefully a sign that a stronger summer performance may be ahead after a difficult first half of 2024.

“Edinburgh narrowly pipped that performance with a 2.4% increase, in part from the Royal Highland Show and Taylor Swift’s concerts, continuing a solid series of figures.

“Despite this stronger performance, high streets remain in a parlous condition. As we move into the summer holidays retailers will be hoping for a sustained improvement in footfall to help offset the previous difficult months.

“They’ll also be hoping that the end of the General Election will mean the new UK government can work with the Scottish Government and local authorities to prioritise economic growth.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant at Sensormatic Solutions, said: “June’s footfall saw an improvement in performance compared to last month.

“With the rain finally giving way to drier and sunnier weather, this, along with events including the start of the 2024 Euros and Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, helped to deliver an ambient boost to shopper traffic, pushing Scottish footfall to its highest recovery since September 2023.

“Retailers will be hoping that major sporting events, including Wimbledon and the Paris Olympics, provide positive opportunities to entice shoppers into store.”

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