BID Market Intelligence


Princes Street, Edinburgh


This edition of Essential Trends reports the footfall growth

for March and the retail sales for February. Both remain

positive for Edinburgh.

Footfall grew by 2% in March vs the previous year with the comparative

UK figure being 0.3%. Whilst the growth is positive it is lower than in recent

months. This may be due to Easter falling in March last year and April this


Retail sales in February also grew by 2% but the UK comparator was

significantly worse, down 1.7%. Scotland was even lower at -2.5%.

The indications for April are positive with signs that a very strong Easter for

footfall has been achieved.


Andy Neal

Chief Executive

Hotel Occupancy Page 3

Footfall Page 4

Parking Page 11

Retail Sales Page 14

Edinburgh Visitors Survey Page 16

Edinburgh Convention

Bureau Page 22


Edinburgh Hotels Data up to February 2014

The latest available data for February 2014 from STR

Global shows that 69.7 percent of rooms were occupied

in Edinburgh during the month. The average daily rate

for rooms sold was £68.22 whilst the revenue averaged

across all available rooms was £47.54. This is based on a

sample of 84 hotels totalling 9,688 rooms in Edinburgh.

The latest data for February 2014

shows that both occupancy and

revenue per available room have

increased from the same month in

the last two years. The occupancy

rate in February 2014 was 69.7

percent, while in 2013 was 66.7

percent, and the rate in February

2012 was 67.4 percent. Revenue per

available room also increased in

cash terms by 9 percent on last year

from £43.62 to £47.54.


Edinburgh footfall index to March 2014

The data available is for the period March 2012 to March


Edinburgh City Centre is ahead of the UK average; up 2 percent compared

to 0.3 percent. We have had consecutively higher year on year footfall

growth compared to the UK over the last nine months.

Princes Street was the busiest spot in the city centre with 952,881 people

counted during March 2014. Comparing this

to last year shows a decrease of 2.7 percent,

this is lower than the national average which

increased by 0.3 percent, compared with last


Monthly pedestrian numbers in the city centre

follow an annual trend. They increase to their

highest level of the year in August and fall to

the lowest monthly totals during January and

February before starting to increase again

over spring and into the summer months. In

March the last month in which figures are

available, footfall increased by 16.7 percent

from the previous month. The tables below

shows footfall in the City Centre and a

breakdown by counter area. The daily

information for the previous month is also

presented in the charts.


The UK footfall Index shows an increase of 2.5 percent between February

and March 2014, and increased by 0.3 percent compared to March 2013.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “These

are strong results. They confirm what retailers have been reporting to us, that

a combination of good pricing and promotions, with well-received new

ranges, has driven a significant increase in shoppers on high streets and in

out of town shopping centres.

“With the shift in Easter to April this year, it will be important to look at April’s

results as well to understand the full footfall picture. Retailers will be working

hard to support this positive trend, and encourage people to take advantage

of shopping opportunities over the Easter break.”


Edinburgh footfall index, March 2014 cont.....



Edinburgh footfall index, March 2014 cont....


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in Edinburgh

City Centre

The start of the spring season shows an encouraging

growth in city centre footfall compared to last month.

Compared to last month footfall numbers increased in March across all

time periods. In the early morning and core retail hour periods the number

of people in the city centre increased by 17.7 percent and 14.8 percent,

respectively. In addition, Footfall in the evening period increased by 18.2

percent in March compared to last month.

In March the core retail hour period, 9am to 6pm, had a very modest

decrease of 0.2

percent in footfall

compared to last

year. As this time

period accounts for

around 82 percent

of all visitors it

explains why the

overall footfall total

was lower this

time around. The

two periods in the

evening and early

morning had a much

higher increase

against March 2013 with an 11.2 percent in the morning period and a 1.9

percent increase in

the evening. Most

of the decrease in

footfall numbers

this month

compared to last

year is attributable

to counters at

the east end

of Rose Street

outside Jenners

and at Marks and

Spencer’s on

Princes Street.


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in Edinburgh

city centre cont........

The chart below shows the change in footfall over four different three

hour periods. Nine out of every ten visitors in the city centre are recorded

over this 12 hour period during the day. Footfall in March 2014 after 5pm

increased the most against the previous month by 26 percent, the lighter

evenings perhaps encouraging more people to stay out later. However,

compared to the same month last year there were only modest changes in

footfall over these short time intervals. The largest change occurred in the

5pm to 8pm period with footfall down four percent this March on last year.

Note: Edinburgh City centre = Month comparison includes counter locations: FCUK

Fredrick Street; Jenners Rose Street; M&S Princes Street; Natwest George Street, Tiso

Rose Street, and South St Andrew Street McDonalds. Annual comparison includes counter

locations: FCUK Fredrick Street; Jenners Rose Street, M&S Princes Street; Natwest George

Street, Tiso Rose Street.


Parking Index: data March 2014

Parking is important for retailers in the city centre and the

information below shows the number of times and length

of time each parking bay is used during the chargeable

period. The higher the turnover of paid parking spaces the

more opportunities for shoppers to find a space. In the

New Town there are 959 bays in zones 1A and 2, which

covers the Essential Edinburgh BID area.

In the New Town over March 2014,

the average turnover of parking

spaces per day was 3.2. This

compares to 3.0 in the Old Town,

2.3 in the West End and 1.4 in the

East End.

Parking utilisation

Shoppers looking to park their car

are more likely to find a space in the

streets that are less utilised. It is

clear that Little King Street had the

highest levels of utilisation. This

means that the parking bays were

used much more than the average

of the bays in other streets. George

Street, North Castle Street, Thistle

Street and St Andrew Square are all

used more than average for parking.

The other streets are used less than

average for parking with Glenfinlas

Street having the lowest utilisation of

paid parking spaces within the New


It should be noted, that the average

daily number of transactions per

bay during trading hours and the

average length of time parked are


This table reflects the levels of usage of parking bays during the times when

parking charges are levied (Monday – Saturday 8:30 am – 5:30pm in areas with

lower parking ticket sales and 8:30am – 6:30pm in areas with higher ticket sales).

derived from transactions at parking

ticket machines, varies throughout

the year. The relatively low number

of daily transactions per bay is likely

to be due to the usage of the bays

by holders of resident’s parking


For real time information on utilisation rates in off-street car parks follow this




Retail Sales up to February 2014

The current figure for the change in turnover on last year

for Edinburgh is up 2.0 percent in February 2014. This is

higher than the Scottish average, where sales decreased

by 2.5 percent on the previous year, and higher than the

UK average which was down 1.7 percent on February


Retailers participating in the City

Centre Monitoring Programme,

which is co-organised between

Essential Edinburgh and the City of

Edinburgh Council, reported these

figures for February 2014. The

figures for Edinburgh are based on

a sample of city centre retailers. The

figures for Scotland and the UK

were reported from the BRC-KPMG

Retail Sales Monitor and the BRC

Scottish Retail Sales Monitor.

Andy Neal, Chief Executive at

Essential Edinburgh, commenting

on the Edinburgh figures said:

“Retail sales continue to buck the

trend in Edinburgh, up by 2%

compared to the UK which is down

1.7%. This has been driven by very

strong evening and night time

growth, again showing the

importance of a vibrant city centre

and a strong mix of retail, hospitality

and attractions.”

Helen Dickinson, director at the

BRC, said: “Our sales figures for


“This has been driven by very strong evening

and night time growth, again showing the

importance of a vibrant city centre and a strong

mix of retail, hospitality and attractions.”

February show a slower pace of

growth in the retail industry than in

previous months, underlining that

the consumer-led recovery is still

developing. Overall, these figures

reflect the considerable challenges

still faced by consumers and

retailers in the UK. It remains to be

seen how the industry will fare over


“Looking forward, wage rate inflation

and house price recovery are

showing tangible recovery which will

in turn be reflected in High Street

spending. However, the next few

months will be dominated by the

spotlight being shone on the grocery

sector and how that filters through to

family budgets.”

David McCorquodale, Head of

Retail at KPMG, said: “February saw

a reality check on the road to

recovery as consumers shunned the

economic indicators and refused to

loosen the spending belts.”

You are sent this information around three weeks before

publication in Essential Trends if you agree to participate in

the City Centre Monitoring Project. Contact Gareth Dixon in

the City of Edinburgh Council at gareth.dixon@edinburgh. or 0131 529 3044 to participate in the City Centre

Monitoring Programme.


Edinburgh Visitor Survey - Quarter 1 results

According to respondents to the Edinburgh Visitor’s

Survey, an ongoing survey conducted by LJ Research on

behalf of Essential Edinburgh, tourists who expressed a

preference said that the BID area managed by Essential

Edinburgh outperforms the rest of the city centre with

regards to: the quality of shops, restaurants and bars;

signage; cleanliness and access by public transport.

However, tourists say that parking facilities and ease of

access by car were worse than the rest of the city.

We have asked visitors to the New

Town about their experience of the

BID area compared to other areas

of the city. As illustrated in the charts

on pages 17 to 21, the quality of

shops, bars, restaurants and cafes

were rated higher than other areas of

the city. Similarly, visitors found that it

was easier to access the New Town

BID area using buses and trains.

Respondents also note, however,

that it is easier to access other parts

of Edinburgh and find a parking bay

there than it is in the BID.

The charts below provide information

on visitors’ experience of the New

Town / BID area compared to other

areas in the City. Respondents

without a strong opinion were


The Edinburgh Visitor Survey

is conducted by Lynne Jones

Research on behalf of Essential








Edinburgh’s Conferences

Marketing Edinburgh is the organisation

dedicated to promoting Edinburgh to the world, and

encompasses a Convention Bureau and Film Office.

Our new ‘This is Edinburgh’ city

centre marketing campaign launched

at the end of February, designed to

attract families and shoppers back

into the Edinburgh City Centre. A

core part of this campaign is the

development of events offering

exclusive discounts for local people

on a range of shopping, days out and

dining experiences.

During March and April, Edinburgh

Style Saturdays celebrated all things

fashion with the chic streets of the city

taken over by experts sharing industry

secrets and top tips for the season.

In May the city’s biggest free beauty

event is back with Spa in the City

offering a weekend of beauty treats

from leading retailers and spas on the

24-25th May. Further information on

‘Spa in the City’ can be viewed under

the ’Things to Do’ section of our new

website at


The International Science Festival

kicked off the Festival season last

month, and has now launched its

programme with some fantastic acts

from all over the world. Some events

are already sold out so get your

tickets soon!

Marketing Edinburgh remains active

and engaging on a variety of social

media channels with a current

audience of 70k.


Marketing Edinburgh’s Film Office

attracts and facilitates filming in the

Edinburgh city region, working with

filmmakers to find locations, crew, film

services and accommodation.

Sunshine On Leith continues showing

off our beautiful city around the world

with its first appearance in Australia

at the Gold Coast Film Festival this

month. The film will be on general

release in Australia from 22 May

2014 and will be an opportunity for

businesses with Australian clients to

use the film to aid their sell.

Following a successful Australian

and UK run (£9million box office from

both territories) East Lothian-filmed

The Railway Man starring Colin Firth

and Nicole Kidman is about to be

released in arthouse cinemas in the


Under The Skin continues its run in

the cinema featuring East Lothian’s

Tantallon Castle. Opening to a select

number of screens across the UK in

March, the film has averaged £21,000


per screen, has amassed significant

critical praise, and is now expanding

its distribution throughout April.

On the factual front, Edinburgh has

recently hosted Flog It!, Who Do You

Think You Are (Netherlands), Come

Dine With Me, Killer Magic, Secret

Eaters, Landward, Long Lost Family,

observational documentaries about

social workers, local communities

and shop girls, and several

referendum-related programmes.

Business Tourism

Marketing Edinburgh’s Convention

Bureau working in partnership

with VisitScotland and Edinburgh

members Marketing Edinburgh’s

Convention Bureau will be

representing and promoting

Edinburgh at IMEX Frankfurt 20 – 22

May 2014. IMEX is one of the key

European trade shows and provides

a one-stop-shop for planners looking

to book and organise worldwide

meetings, events and incentive travel


Marketing Edinburgh’s Convention

Bureau is working in conjunction with

Edinburgh University to recruit new

Ambassadors into the successful

Edinburgh Ambassador programme

and promote the excellent facilities

available at Edinburgh First.

Marketing Edinburgh’s Convention

Bureau hosted 12 corporate agency

buyers at the Destination Edinburgh

Workshop. The workshop was

hosted by the Royal College of

Physicians where each buyer met

with 15 members and also visited

key venues in the city such as the

National Galleries, the EICC and

The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa.

The buyers were joined for dinner

at the Scotch Whisky Experience,

by German buyers who were being

hosted by VisitScotland on a Scotland

familiarisation trip.

Since April 2013, the Bureau has

confirmed 151 conferences,

attracting over 55,000 delegates

to the city between 2013 and 2021

with an economic benefit of over

£90m. Over the last month Marketing

Edinburgh’s Convention Bureau

confirmed 13 new conferences with a

combined economic benefit of £7.3m.

Confirmed Conferences

21 – 23 Aug 2014, Guardian Edinburgh International

Television Festival , 1000 delegates

7 – 10 Sep 2014, Eurotox, 1200 delegates

6 – 10 October 2014, International Society for Transgenic

Technologies, 500 delegates


To contact Essential Edinburgh:

139 George Street

Edinburgh, EH2 4JY

t: +44 (0) 131 220 8580



© Essential Edinburgh .

To contact the City of Edinburgh Council

t: +44 (0) 131 200 2000


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