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Princes Street, Edinburgh


November’s figures for footfall and retail sales were a mixed

bag last month. Footfall performance was below 2014 and

the UK averages but retail sales were considerably higher

than both Scottish and UK averages. Hospitality figures are

also encouraging, over 3% up on a great 2014. The retail

sales, although showing positive growth, need to be viewed

with caution as many retailers have accounted for “Black

Friday” differently. It is hoped though, that this positive

trend in sales continues throughout December.

The footfall figures for November are disappointing, well below the UK

averages for both month on month and yearly comparisons. When we look

more closely at the breakdown of footfall across the different hours of the day

there was a decrease in footfall compared to last year in the evening hours

of over 12%. There were declines also in the core retail period of 4% and the

early morning period of 0.8% this November.

The hotel occupancy data is a month behind so we are reporting on October’s

figures. Although October’s hotel occupancy was the same as the previous


year the revenue per room was higher than the last two years.

This is the final Essential Trends of 2015. Our bumper printed edition, which

includes December’s statistics, will be delivered to you in January.

And finally, all of us at Essential Edinburgh would like to with you a very merry

Christmas and prosperous 2016.

Roddy Smith

Chief Executive


Hotel Occupancy Page 4

October Footfall index Page 6

Day & night pedestrian

traffic Page 11

Sales Monitors Page 14

Parking Page 16

Convention Bureau Page 18

Edinburgh Airport Page 20


Edinburgh Hotels Data for October 2015

The latest available data for October 2015 from STR Global

shows that 86% of rooms were occupied in Edinburgh

during the month. The average daily rate for rooms sold

was £79.99 whilst the revenue averaged across all available

rooms was £68.64. This is based on a sample of 100 hotels

totalling 10,639 rooms in Edinburgh.

The latest data for October 2015

shows that occupancy was the same

as the previous year and revenue per

room was higher than the last two

years. The occupancy rate in October

2015 and October 2014 was 85.8%,

the rate in October 2013 was 86.2%.

Revenue per available room rose in

cash terms by 2.4% on last year from

£67.03 to £68.64.

Comparing the last three years, a

pattern can be seen with peaks in

August for revenue per room and

dips in January for occupancy and

revenue per room.

Looking at the year from November

2014 to October 2015 Edinburgh has

had consistently higher occupancy

figures than the comparator cities in

Scotland since the spring.



Edinburgh footfall index 2015

Edinburgh footfall figures for November 2015 are down by

-11.3% compared to October 2015 and by -5.8% compared to

November 2015. Month on month the UK footfall increased

by 6.5% but decreased by -1.6% compared to last year.

Princes Street at Marks & Spencer’s

was the busiest spot in the city centre

with 1,160,503 people counted during

November 2015. Comparing this to

last year shows a decrease of 1.3%,

which is lessr than the national

average which decreased by 1.6%,

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. In November

the last month in which figures are

available, footfall decreased by 11.3%

from the previous month. The tables

below show 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 6.5% between October

2015 and November 2015, and


decreased by 1.6% compared to

November 2014.

Helen Dickinson, Director General,

British Retail Consortium commenting

on the UK footfall, said: “Shopper

footfall wilted once again last month,

as consumers shunned high streets

and instead sought to take advantage

of online ‘Black Friday’ promotions

and discounts which often ranged

across several days. As a result

November was the eighth consecutive

month in which shopper footfall

declined, and at a faster rate than the

three-month average.

“Those retailers with a strong

multichannel offer

- allowing customers

to shop in-store, at

home and on the

move - will have

been well placed to

capitalise on this

further milestone in

the development of

our digital economy.

Once again retail

parks performed

well, with high

streets and

shopping malls

lagging behind.





Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area

In November annual comparable footfall is down by 5.1% in

the city centre on last year, with a large decrease in footfall

during the evening period.

Yearly Comparison

Compared to last year footfall has shown an overall decrease in November

2015. This hides a lot of variation which we can see by breaking the day down

into three periods: morning; core retail hours; and evening hours. The most

noticeable change in November was the 12.6% decrease in the evening hours.

The core retail period this November was 4% lower than last year, and the

early morning period decreased by 0.8%.

Monthly comparison

Overall footfall decreased by 7.8% compared to last month in the city centre.

In the evening period there was a decrease of 13%, the core retail period

decreased by 6.5%, and the morning hour period showed a decrease of



Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area cont...

The chart below shows the change in

footfall over four different three hour

periods. Around 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

compared to last year occurred in

evening period after 5pm where

footfall decreased by 9.8% on last


The change this November compared

to last month shows a decrease in

footfall numbers. In the time period

after 8am footfall decreased by 5.0%,

between 11am and 2pm footfall

decreased by 1.1%. The after 2pm

time period also decreased by 7.5%

compared to last month. The after

5pm time period saw a decrease of


Note: BID area = Month and annual comparison includes counter locations: FCUK Frederick

Street; Jenners Rose Street; M&S Princes Street; Natwest George Street; Tiso Rose Street; and

South St Andrew Street.



Sales Monitors for November 2015

Edinburgh retail sales were up 4.4% in November

2015 compared to this month in 2014. This means that

Edinburgh’s retailers were bucking the trend as sales for

Edinburgh’s Scottish peers fell 2.3% on a year earlier; for

the entire UK sales were up 0.7% which is still below the

Edinburgh figure.

The figures for Edinburgh are based

on a sample of city centre retailers

that take part in the Retail Monitoring

Programme. Although the overall

figures are positive, it should be noted

that participants who reported

year-on-year growth may be

accounting for “Black Friday”

revenues in a different way from those

reporting negative figures.

Hospitality businesses that take part

in the Hospitality Monitoring

Programme reported an increase in

sales of 3.0%.

Roddy Smith, Chief Executive of

Essential Edinburgh, said:

“November’s figures may hide a lot a

variation across the retail sector.

Retailers were better

prepared this year for

Black Friday. Some

chose not to take part

while many others

spread the discounts

over several days.

However, retailers may

see some pay-back

after the Black Friday

promotions led

shoppers to

pull-forward spending

that would otherwise have taken place

in December.”

David McCorquodale, head of retail at

KPMG, said that “the evidence

suggests Scottish consumers are

waiting for promoted bargains before

committing to spend. The unknown

element of this standoff is whether

retailers will feed this discount

addiction before Christmas, or, hold

their nerve and their margins.”

He added: “Most of the Black Friday

activity focused on electricals and

household appliances, with online

channels proving most popular.”

The SRC said when adjusted to factor

in the effect of online, non-food sales


rose 0.4% in November against a rise

of 0.9% last year – this is not good

news for the High Street at this time of

the year.

The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

suggested, retail sales in the UK grew

by 0.7% in total, but fell by 0.4% on a

like-for-like basis, which strips out the

effect of store openings and closures.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of

the BRC, commenting on the UK

figures said: “Retailers worked hard to

offer attractive targeted Black Friday

promotions, which were often

extended across several days, as well

as enhancing the customer

experience by improving website

performance, offering user-friendly

apps and improving order delivery


“As consumers and retailers continue

to adapt to the changing patterns of

omni-channel shopping, where the

lines between channels become less

and less relevant, this build-up to

Christmas is one of the hardest to

read in years.

“The conversion of people’s higher

disposable income into retail sales

shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

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:

Tom@ljresearch.co.uk or 0131 623 6217.


Parking Index: November 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, 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 permits.

In the New Town over November

2015, the average turnover of parking

spaces per day was 2.0. This

compares to 2.2 in the Old Town, 1.7

in the West End and 0.9 in the East


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 George 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. Thistle Street, North

Castle Street, West Register Street

and St Andrews 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


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

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

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

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

follow this link: http://edinburgh.cdmf.info/public/carparks/list.htm


Edinburgh’s Conferences

Marketing Edinburgh is the organisation

dedicated to promoting Edinburgh to the world,

and encompasses a Convention Bureau and Film


Business Tourism

Business Tourism is vital to the

economy of the city and delivers

significant financial benefits for

the city. It also positions the city

positively in key industry sectors,

brings global expertise into the

community and provides a platform

for future investment.

Convention Edinburgh (CE) attended

IBTM in November as part of the

VisitScotland stand – this is one of

the key European trade shows that

takes place in Barcelona and gives

CE the opportunity to meet with UK

and European buyers. CE had 53

pre scheduled appointments and

generated £7.7M in enquiries.

Since April 2015, Convention

Edinburgh alongside its members

has confirmed 104 conferences,

attracting just over 50,000 delegates

to the city between 2015 and

2021 with an economic benefit of

over £55M. Over the last month

(November) Convention Edinburgh

has secured 15 new conferences with

a combined economic benefit of just

under £5M.


Edinburgh hosts over 300 film/TV

productions a year; 40% of visitors to

the UK are inspired by images they

have seen on the screen.

The signs are that 2015 has been

a very successful year for filming in

Edinburgh with economic impact at

£6.6m, an increase of £2m on 2014.

This is largely due to three largescale

productions (BBC TV dramas

One Of Us and The Secret Agent

and feature film Tommy’s Honour)

filming in the city region for several

months each as well as setting up

production bases to support the

production in the city. We persuaded

these productions to base here

thanks to the locations on offer in

the city region, as well as being

able to demonstrate that we have

a quarter of Scotland’s crew base.

Nevertheless, without a dedicated

film studio it has been a struggle to

accommodate these productions,

and we hope to have good news

about a studio facility for the city

region within the next couple of

months. Watch this space…

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.

Email: info@filmedinburgh.org

Tel 0131 622 7337.

Upcoming Conferences

Conferences which will take place

during February, March and April

2016 have a combined value of over

£11M and will attract over 4,330


Confirmed Conferences

23 - 25 Feb 2016, International Conference on Ocean Energy

ICOE’ 16, 1000 delegates

29 Feb - 3 March 2016, Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland,

1200 delegates

3 - 4 March 2016, CIPD’s Annual Scottish Conference, 300


7 - 11 March 2016, National Association of Pension Funds

Conference, 850 delegates

7 - 10 March 2016, Developments in Power System Protection,

300 delegates

21 - 23 March 2016, The British Liquid Crystal Society Annual

Conference 2016, 200 delegates

5 - 8 April 2016, RCN Annual International Nursing Research

Conference 2016, 450 delegates

6 - 9 April 2016, The Classical Association Conference 2016,

500 delegates

7 - 9 April 2016, Association of Art Historians Conference 2016,

500 delegates

14 - 16 April 2016, World Bar Conference of 2016, 250 delegates

20 - 21 April 2016, VisitScotland Expo 2016, 800 delegates


Edinburgh Airport welcomes

‘Busiest ever November’

Passenger numbers see double digit increase from

November 2014

Edinburgh Airport has today

welcomed passenger figures

for November showing 794,792

passengers through its doors -

making last month the busiest

November ever at a Scottish airport.

This represents a 12.4% 44increase in

passenger numbers from the same

month last year and takes Edinburgh

Airport’s November pax to similar

levels as the height of summer at

many other regional airports in the


This success is largely due to

an annual 22.5% increase in

international routes including

easyJet and Ryanair’s services to

European destinations, Qatar Airways

increased service to Doha, strong

performances by Etihad Airways,

Turkish Airlines and Norwegian’s new

route to Tenerife.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of

Edinburgh Airport, said:

“These exceptionally strong figures

represent our busiest ever November;

Edinburgh Airport has experienced

passenger numbers levels in

November– a quiet month in air

travel – on a par with what many other


regional airports do at the peak of


“This tremendous achievement is a

direct result of our commitment to

increasing connectivity and choice

and improving the passenger


“This has been another recordbreaking

month and is a sure sign of

the growing success of both Scotland

and Edinburgh as a destination

which emphasises our position as a

key driver for Scotland’s economic


“Edinburgh Airport is going from

strength to strength – with more

airlines and greater choice of routes

to London, the rest of the UK, Europe

and across the globe - and we are on

course to make 2015 our busiest year



More information from:

Gordon Robertson, Director of Communications

07785 372961 or email: gordon_robertson@edinburghairport.com


To contact Essential Edinburgh:

139 George Street

Edinburgh, EH2 4JY

t: +44 (0) 131 220 8580

e: info@essentialedinburgh.co.uk



© Essential Edinburgh .

To contact the City of Edinburgh Council

t: +44 (0) 131 200 2000

e: economicstrategy@edinburgh.gov.uk


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