Princes Street, Edinburgh


This edition of Essential Trends is the first one where we

have been able to align footfall and retail sales for the

same month. In addition to this, we also have the first

hospitality (bars & restaurants) report.

The findings are mixed. After a very strong December, footfall was down

by -4.1% vs January 2014. This is worse than the UK figure of -0.6%. This

decline was reflected in the hospitality figure of -6.0% but not in the retail

sales which was up by 9.3%. This reflected a good sales period early in the

month, and some exceptional growth in some areas of the city. It should be

noted that although the 9.3% growth is robust, there was a wide range of

performances, with some areas seeing declines and some retailers that rely

on tourists also down.

In summary, fewer people came into the city centre than in the previous

January, both locals who had enjoyed a good Christmas, and tourists (the

old town was down more than the new town). This affected the hospitality

sector but retail sales held up well overall with some ups and downs.

As this will be my last intro for Essential

Trends, I would just like to say it has

been a pleasure working with you all

and I wish everyone well for the future.

Andy Neal

Chief Executive


Hotel Occupancy Page 3

Footfall Page 4

Sales Monitors Page 11

Parking Page 13

Marketing Edinburgh Page 16


Edinburgh Hotels Data for December 2014

The latest available data for December 2014 from STR

Global shows that 73.1 percent of rooms were occupied

in Edinburgh during the month. The average daily rate

for rooms sold was £75.23 whilst the revenue averaged

across all available rooms was £54.97. This is based on a

sample of 97 hotels totalling 10,347 rooms in Edinburgh.

The latest data for

December 2014 shows that

occupancy has increased

for the second year running,

and revenue per available

room has also increased

compared to the last two

years. The occupancy rate

in December 2014 was 73.1

percent, while in 2013 was

69.2 percent, and the rate in

December 2012 was 65.2

percent. Revenue per

available room has

increased in cash terms by 8.2

percent on last year from £50.80 to


The chart below shows the annual

trend in hotel occupancy for

Edinburgh and other Scottish cities.

Room occupancy in Edinburgh

during the winter season

(Dec-March) was typically between

57% and 77%. Other Scottish cities

had a higher occupancy rate. The

Edinburgh 2014

summer season

(July to

September) saw



above 90% for

two consecutive

months. This

was higher than

other Scottish

cities during this



Edinburgh footfall index 2015

Following on from a very strong January in 2014

Edinburgh footfall figures for January 2015 are down 4.1%

year on year for the city centre.

Princes Street was the busiest spot in the city centre with 876,861 people

counted during January 2015. Comparing this to last year shows an

increase of 1.8 percent, this is higher than the national average which

decreased by 0.6 percent, compared with last year.

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. Following this annual trend

January footfall, as expected following a successful December, decreased

by 35.1 percent compared to the previous month. The tables below show

footfall in the City Centre and a breakdown by counter area.

The UK footfall Index shows a decrease of 25.2 percent between December

2014 and January 2015, and decreased by 0.6 percent compared to

January 2014.


Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, commenting

onthe UK figures said: “January is traditionally strong for online sales and this

year was no exception. This has undoubtedly impacted on footfall for high

streets and shopping centres and is further evidence of the impact of our

changing shopping habits. Retailers will be looking closely at these figures to

help them harness the growth of e-retailing to drive consumers to their bricks

and mortar stores. Click-and-collect services are an excellent example of

how this is happening right now and innovations in this area are set to

continue for some time to come.”


Edinburgh footfall index, 2015 cont...



Edinburgh footfall index, 2015 cont...


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area

In January annual comparable footfall is down by 0.6

percent in the BID area, footfall is lower in January

compared to last month, especially in the evening hours.

Monthly comparison

Compared to last month footfall has shown an overall decrease in January

2015. As in the chart below this hides a lot of variation which we can see by

breaking the

day down

into three



core retail

hours; and



The most


change in

January saw

a decrease

of 48.3

percent in

footfall during

evening retail

hours compared to December. The core evening period saw a 38.6 percent

decrease compared to last month and footfall during the early morning

period decreased by 4.0 percent against last month.

Yearly comparison

Overall footfall decreased by 0.6 percent compared to last January in the

city centre. In the evening period there was an increase of 13.8 percent, the

core retail period decreased by 2.6 percent, and the morning hour period

decreased by 1.1 percent.

The chart on page 10 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. The largest change in footfall in the city centre

this January compared to last year occurred in morning period “after 8am.”

where footfall decreased by 11 percent on last year.


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the Essential

Edinburgh BID area cont...

The month on

month comparison

was also not

positive. In the time

period after 8am

footfall decreased

by 30.3 percent,

between 11am

and 2pm footfall

decreased by

40.5 percent. The

“After 2 pm” time

period also saw a

decrease of 37.7

percent compared

to last month. The

“After 5pm” time period saw a decrease of 42.2 percent.

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

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

Street, and South St David Street McDonalds. Annual comparison includes counter locations:

FCUK Frederick Street; Jenners Rose Street, M&S Princes Street; Natwest George Street,

Tiso Rose Street.


Sales Monitors For January 2015

Edinburgh retail sales were up 9.3% in January 2015

compared to January 2014. This is significantly higher

than the Scottish average that decreased by 1.0%; it is

also higher than the British average that decreased 3.1%.

Retailers participating in the Retail

Monitoring Programme reported

these figures for January 2015. 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.

Although this is a positive result and

the average figure of 9.3% is robust,

there was a wide variation in figures

from retailers in different locations.

Some did significantly better than

this strong average, some

significantly worse. This variation

reflects the changing footfall flow in

the city centre.

Since this year, Essential Edinburgh

also started collecting turnover

figures from hospitality businesses.

Restaurateurs and other hospitality

businesses participating in the

project reported that, on average,

turnover in January 2015 was 6%

lower than in January 2014.

Andy Neal, Chief Executive at

Essential Edinburgh, commenting on

the Edinburgh figures said: “The

strong growth in Edinburgh continues

the long term trend of positive results.

It was noticeable that the wide variety

of individual retail results showed

some real ‘winners’ and ‘losers’,

largely based on location or relative

dependence on certain tourism

markets. For example, the crisis in

Russia has affected sales in some

tourist dependent stores. Overall

though Edinburgh remains in a strong



David McCorquodale, Head of

Retail, KPMG, commenting on the

Scottish figures said: “Whilst the

decline may be partly explained by

more inclement weather this year

and January being a strong month

for sales last year, it is clear that the

considerable saving felt by

consumers in petrol and fuel bills is

not finding its way to the high street’s


Helen Dickinson, Director General,

British Retail Consortium,

commenting on the UK total sales

figures said: “Online sales for

January tend to be strong with

people enjoying surfing for online

bargains after the busy frenzy of

Christmas shopping. With the

January penetration rate only second

to November this shows just how

popular online sales were.”

“As websites continue to improve with

more stock being listed online it is not

a surprise that we loved buying online

this January. We were particularly

enthusiastic about buying shoes

online as over £1 in every £3 of

footwear purchases was spent online,

perhaps because we could see

immediately whether our size was still

available in the sales. Retailers who

have invested in an omni-channel

strategy will certainly take comfort in

these figures.”

You are sent this information before publication in Essential

Trends if you agree to participate in the City Centre Monitoring

Project. For more information about how to participate in the

Tunover Monitoring Project please contact Tom Mathar, Research

Manager at LJ Research, who manage this project on our behalf: or 0131 623 6217.


Parking Index: data 2015

Parking is important for businesses 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.

It should be noted, that the average

daily number of transactions per

bay during trading hours and the

average length of time parked are

derived from transactions at parking

ticket machines, the number of

which 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


In the New Town over January 2015,

the average turnover of parking

spaces per day was 2.0. This

compares to 2.0 in the Old Town,

1.4 in the West End and 0.9 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 Thistle 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. Little


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.

King Street, North Castle Street, Hill

Street and West Register Street 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 Town.

For real time information on

utilisation rates in off-street car

parks follow this link: http://




Edinburgh’s Conferences

Marketing Edinburgh is the organisation

dedicated to promoting Edinburgh to the world, and

encompasses a Convention Bureau and Film Office.


Film Edinburgh, the local Film

Commission for Edinburgh, East

Lothian and the Scottish Borders,

has reported a solid rise in the

number of film enquires and

productions filming in and around

the Capital during 2014. As a result,

the economic impact for the region

has increased to £4.6million, a 53%

rise on 2013 figures.

Key 2014 stats:

• Number of production enquires:

542 (+8% on 2013)

• Projects completed in 2014: 361

(+6% on 2013)

• Conversion rate from enquires to

completed projects : 67%

• Total filming days: 1076 (+70 on


• Economic value to city region:

£4.6m (+53% on 2013)

High-value production highlights

in 2014 included the BBC drama

Murder by Birger Larsen which

filmed in Edinburgh for four months,

CBBC/HBO’s Eve and Plum Films’

Teacup Travels for CBeebies.

International hit, Outlander also

undertook 19 days of filming in the

Edinburgh region in 2014, while

factual programmes included

Landward, Come Dine with Me,

Great Scots and Shopgirls.

Film Edinburgh promotes Edinburgh

as a filming destination. Stunning

locations and a film-friendly

reputation are key to attracting

productions. Businesses interested

in registering as a location or service

can contact Rosie Ellison at Film

Edinburgh to find out more and sign

up for free. Tel 0131 622 7337, email,

Business Tourism:

Business Tourism is vital to

Edinburgh’s economy and delivers

significant financial benefits for the

city. It also positions Edinburgh

positively in key industry sectors,

brings global expertise into the

community and provides a platform

for future investment.


In January 2015, Convention

Edinburgh unveiled its new website,

carefully created to meet the dual

needs of both potential event

organisers and future delegates

planning a trip to the city.

offers a comprehensive toolkit,

practical support and clear, jargonfree

guidance to the full and free

Convention Edinburgh service.

One of the website’s objectives is

to capture the diversity and quality

of Edinburgh’s business tourism

offering, while remaining accessible

and adaptive to the needs of

anyone hoping to host a conference

in the city. As a result, the online

portal is packed with relevant

advice, supporting facts and

figures, video content and image

library access, all geared to helping

bring bid proposals to life and

secure future events for Edinburgh.

Since April 2014, the Bureau

has confirmed 152 conferences,

attracting over 48,000 delegates to

the city between 2013 and 2021 with

an economic benefit of over £69m.

Over the last month Marketing

Edinburgh’s Convention Bureau

confirmed 23 new conferences with

a combined economic benefit of

over £10m.

Upcoming Conferences

Conferences which will take place

during April, May and June 2015

have a combined value of over

£20m and will attract over 13,000

delegates. These include:

Confirmed Conferences

12 - 15 April 2015, British Association for the Study and

Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, 500 delegates

20 - 22 April 2015, British Society for Haematology Annual

Scientific Meeting, 1000 delegates

25 - 29 May 2015, XVth IWRA World Water Congress, 1000


28 - 30 May 2015, European Association of Plastic Surgeons,

550 delegates

3 - 6 June 2015, Annual Meeting of the Intl Society for

behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 700 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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