Welcome to the latest Business Insights Update from Liverpool BID Company. This month we’ve focused heavily on the traffic patterns and make-up of those patterns in the latter half of 2021. This choice of data was in part initiated by the prevalence of Omicron variant of Covid-19, and a feeling it would be important to understand the impact of this on traffic as we look once again at a recovery of visitors to Liverpool. You can read the highlights of the report on this page, or click on the link below to access a full PDF of the report.

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Liverpool city centre footfall analysis

Did people visit Liverpool city centre in December 2021?

Footfall in December was 12.2% down on the total footfall in November. Given the news, caution, and, in part, the consequent recommendations put in place to tackle the rise in the Omicron variant of Covid-19, such a drop-off was to be somewhat expected. This was also reflected in the YoY figure for December, which was -20.9% relative to -11.7% for November when comparing the adjusted figures against the equivalent month’s in 2019.

Despite this, Liverpool’s YoY figure is still closer to parity with 2019 than other Comparison Towns, the North, and the UK as a whole.

That MoM traffic in other Comparison Towns increased in December (by 0.9%) gives some indication to how well Liverpool had recovered prior to December when analyzed alongside comparable cities. The trend seen in December may be seen as Liverpool re-aligning with the rest of the country during a particularly pernicious spike in infection rates.

Data for this month suggests that the valley of this trough has been hit, and hopefully an upturn in traffic will be seen in the near future.

Footfall Development over 2021

The below graph shows the footfall development from Week 18 of 2021 to Week 2 of 2022 in Liverpool City Centre.

The reason this graph starts from Week 18 is that this was the week after the May bank holiday, which was an anomalously high week of traffic. It’s also worth noting that restrictions were eased in week 14 of 2021.

The purpose of constructing this graph is to clearly show that both real traffic (in terms of visits) and relative traffic (in terms of a YoY comparison to adjusted figures for 2019 in the equivalent weeks) were moving in the right direction in 2021: that is, as real traffic was rising in steady increments, so YoY comparisons were moving closer to parity with 2019.

There is a clear diversion from this trend when the Omicron variant proliferated from week 47, at which point both real traffic and relative traffic saw a downturn.

The below graph shows the development of real footfall traffic from Week 14 2021 (easing of restrictions) alongside the proportion of Residents (those travelling to the city from 10km or less) and Tourists (those travelling from 50km+) that make up this traffic.

The spikes in the graph represent each month (starting with May 2021, working through to January 2022). The proportion of the spike being green is the percentage of the visitors who were residents for that month, and the proportion of the spike being yellow is the percentage of the visitors who were tourists.

The key trend to note is this: as the number of visits rose, so did the proportion of tourists relative to residents. When the traffic began to dip again (following Omicron’s prevalence) so the proportion of residents began to rise.

This pattern confirms our prior understanding of our dependency on tourists for high traffic.

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Liverpool city centre vacancy analysis

What to look out for in January and February 2022…

Events at the ACC

Watch out for the following events at the ACC in the coming weeks:

Strictly come dancing: Thursday 3 February and Friday 4 February

Ultra 90s Dance Anthems Live: Saturday 5 February

Premier League Darts: Thursday 10 February

Simply Red: Saturday 12 February

Whitney Queen of the Night: Thursday 24 February

Dave: Friday 25 February

LOL! Surprise! Live VIP Party: Saturday 26 February and Sunday 27 February

You can see the full event list here.

If you would like to receive ACC’s monthly event listing directly into your inbox, contact rachel.kennedy@accliverpool.com

Opening watch

Alongside the vacancy data we’ve provided on page 8 of this report, please see below the predicted dates of the major new openings in the coming months:

Decathlon (Church Street): opening April 2022

Flannels (Parker Street): opening March 2022

Stay up to date with transport and opportunities

Have a look at the latest transport disruption and road works in the city centre, along with checking the latest BID opportunities for your business.