Welcome to the Liverpool BID Company Business Insights Update for May 2022. Our data partners at Movement Strategies this month received monthly spend data broken down by month (rather than by quarter, which has been the case previously). As such, this month we’ve started our focus on the monthly differences in spend to try and identify some patterns within the quarters as well as by quarter. In this respect, we’ve focused on 3 general and top-line trends we saw in the data. The first shows how the respective months contributed to top-line spend in L1, L2 and L3: the spend differentials in Q4 2021 were more evenly spread with December 2021 slightly higher due to the expected Christmas boost; in Q1 2022, we see a gradual increase in spend month-to-month as we move away from the start of the year and toward the Spring and Summer. The second trend shows the spend (online and offline) on VISA cards throughout the Liverpool region (not just in the centre): here we see that the overall spend is far more evenly spread across the months, with March 2022 actually higher than all other months but October 2021; one hypothesis for why this is the case is that ‘online’ spend outside of ‘peak’ season appears to be making up for the drop-off in in-person spend; the other possible hypothesis is that residents increase their local spend in the outer post-codes to off-set not travelling to the centre to spend in the supposedly ‘peak’ months. Finally, we’ve provided a breakdown of sector spend in the centre in order to understand what sectors are driving the centre spend in the ‘peak season’: as expected, Retail and Clothing contribute heavily to the increase in December spend, with luxury items such as Motoring increasing as we move further away from this period.

As usual, we’ve also included some topline footfall analysis, transport updates, key ACC event listings, updates on up-coming openings in the BID areas, and some general news from the BID.

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Liverpool city centre footfall analysis

Did people visited Liverpool city centre in April 2022?

Footfall increased 7.2% in April 2022 relative to March 2022, representing the third month running that footfall in the city has increased. Given the large MoM increases in March and February, and given the relatively modest growth MoM in the second half of 2021, the increase in April 2022 is particularly impressive and gives further weight to the notion that the level of busyness in Liverpool center is getting back to pre-pandemic levels.

With a YoY comparison figure of -9%, this is also the second month running that footfall has been within 10% of the equivalent month pre-pandemic. As has been discussed in my weekly footfall updates, the YoY comparisons look at the cameras that were present in both years (2019 and 2022); given the potential change in how people are moving around the city, the YoY figure may be more representative of a shift in footfall patterns rather than a drop-off in footfall. The lower level of footfall in Williamson Square and the higher level of footfall on Holy Corner and Whitechapel support this inference.

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Liverpool city centre expenditure analysis

How has monthly spending changed in Liverpool city centre by month?

The graph below shows the total in-store spend on card in L1, L2 and L3 by month from October 2021 to March 2022. This is the first opportunity we’ve had to view spend on a monthly basis as this data is newly available through Movement Strategies and their partners at VISA.

The following trends are visible:

  • Monthly spend in the center of Liverpool was higher in Q4 2021 than Q1 2022
  • October spend was likely driven by the half-term toward the end of the month, and December spend will have been driven by Christmas spend
  • After a drop-off following Christmas increases,t here has been a gradual increase in spend through February and March of 2022

Online vs Offline spend in Liverpool region by month?

The below graph shows the total spend on VISA cards in all Liverpool post-codes, and is broken down by offline and online spend.

The reason for including this graph is to show how spending patterns are different by month when we include online spending (by resident location rather than merchant location), and when we expand the geographic area to all of Liverpool.

The difference in spend is more consistent and less pronounced month-to-month. The drop-off in spend starts earlier (November), and recovers sooner (March’s spend is almost back to October’s levels).

The ‘flattening’ of the discrepancies can partly be explained by online spending, which is higher in January and March than during December. Another possible explanation could be that more spending is happening in the outer post codes during the theoretically ‘quieter’ months (January or March), and that city center traffic is more driven by tourist traffic during the theoretically ‘busier’ months (e.g. December).

What sectors are driving spend in Liverpool city centre?

The below graph shows the VISA in-store spend in L1, L2 and L3 by month, broken down by sector. We can see what is driving the higher spend in the city center in the build-up and during Christmas, and what is driving the incremental trend post-Christmas.

The following trends are visible:

  • ‘Food & Drink’ and ‘Leisure & Entertainment’ spend is consistent across all months
  • The increase in Christmas spend is almost exclusively driven by ‘General Retail & High Street’ and ‘Clothing’
  • ‘Restaurants’ spend (which includes pubs and bars) is a good indicator for overall spend (i.e. when it is higher, the overall spend is higher)
  • ‘Motoring’ spend featured only in March, potentially suggesting that luxury item spend is more prevalent a certain distane away from Christmas, and prior to the summer

What to look out for in June 2022 and onward…

Events at the ACC

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

  • Jamfest Europe: Saturday 11 June and Sunday 12 June
  • Dianna Ross: Saturday 18 June
  • Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: Tuesday 28 June
  • UCAS Higher Education Convention: Tuesday 28 June

Opening Watch

Please see below the predicated dates of the major new openings in the coming months:

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.