ISSUE 69 JUNE 2016

Princes Street, Edinburgh


Welcome to the June edition of Essential Trends

May continues to be a challenging month for the city with both footfall and

retail sales experiencing falls against last year. Yet again, the hospitality and

leisure sector continues to perform exceptionally well in the city, reporting a

9.4% increase on sales.

Whilst the closure of all of the St James Centre, apart from John Lewis,

would undoubtedly be a factor in the retail sales figures, it may well facilitate

a change in the spread of footfall across the city centre. This will be

monitored closely over the coming months as the city adjusts to the closure

of such a major retail site.

Summer months always bring significant footfall to the city with our fantastic

festivals and tourist offering; hopefully this will assist the retail sector deliver

better strong results over the coming months.

Roddy Smith

Chief Executive


Footfall Page 3

Sales Monitors Page 11

Parking Page 13

Convention Bureau Page 16

Edinburgh Airport Page 18


Edinburgh footfall index

Edinburgh footfall figures for May 2016 are down by -4.6%

compared to May 2015 but showed an increase of 1.4%

compared to April 2016. The UK average decreased by

-1.9% compared to last month and decreased year on year

by -3.2%.

Princes Street at Marks & Spencer’s was the busiest spot in the city centre

with 1,077,797 people counted during May 2016, the last month in which

figures are available. This represents an increase of 3.3% on May 2015.

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.

Footfall on Princess Street increased by 7.8% between April and May 2016.

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


The UK footfall Index shows a decrease of -1.9% between April and May 2016,

and footfall decreased by -3.2% compared to May 2015.


Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, commenting on

the UK footfall said: “We know from our recent data that it’s online, rather than

stores, that has driven May’s sales upturn. Footfall up and store sales down

gives credence to the trend of an increasing use of the high street for leisure

activities and the researching of purchases made online either later or on the

move through mobile devices.”





Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area

In May 2016 annual comparable footfall was down by a

very small -1.6% in the BID area on last year, but footfall in

the evening period improved on last year.

Compared to last year footfall has

shown an overall decrease in May

2016. This hides some 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 April 2016 was the 2.2%

decrease in the core retail hours on

last year. The early morning period

fell by 1.7%, but the evening period

recorded a small increase of 0.6%

on last year.

The following charts show the

change in footfall over four different

three hour periods. Around nine

out of every ten visitors (87%) 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 2pm. where footfall

decreased by 3.5%.


The change this May compared

to last year shows a decrease in

footfall numbers across three of

the four-hour interval periods. In

the time period after 5pm. footfall

was relatively unchanged recording

a very small increase of 0.01%,

between 8am and 11am footfall

decreased by 1.2%. The after 11am

time period decreased by 2.1%

compared to last year and the

largest decrease occurred in the

after 2am time period, as mentioned

on page 10.

Note: BID area annual comparison includes counter locations: FCUK George Street; Jenners

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

South St Andrew Street.


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area cont...


Sales Monitors for April 2016

Edinburgh retail sales were down -5.4% in May 2016

compared to this month in 2015. This means that

Edinburgh’s retailers performed worse than their Scottish

peers as the Scottish average fell only -0.3% on a year

earlier; in the entire UK sales were up a whisker at 0.5%


Retailers participating in the Retail

Monitoring Programme reported

these figures for May 2016.

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.

Hospitality businesses that take part

in the Hospitality Monitoring

Programme reported an increase in

sales of 9.4%.

The figures downward trend can

partly be explained with the closure

of shops in St James Centre and

lower footfall in this part of the city

centre as a result; however,

department stores at other parts of

the city centre suffered year-on-year

declines as well. Some independent

smaller shops noted higher turnouts;

however, as they trade on smaller

levels (in terms of floor space) their

figures don’t weigh as much as

those from bigger department

stores in the model we apply when

calculating these average figures.

David McCorquodale, head of

accountancy firm and SRC survey

sponsor KPMG’s UK retail sector

practice, said: “Rays of sunshine

boosted Scottish sales in May,


providing some long-sought relief for


“Outdoor living, and health and

beauty performed well as consumers

sought to soak up the rays outside.

Fashion also had a better month as

the weather provided the impetus to

purchase, and promotional activity

helped convert the sales.”

“The grocery sector enjoyed a better

performance with greater volumes,

even though price deflation still

meant that, in value terms, total food

sales declined.”

SRC director David Lonsdale,

commenting on the UK and Scottish

figures said: “These figures are a

welcome improvement on April’s

rather poor results. However, despite

one month’s positive data, the retail

market in Scotland continues to

struggle to show sustained growth,

Grocery sales continue to be weak.”

“Despite the relatively improved

performance, total in-store sales in

Scotland still declined, providing

evidence that the sector, as a whole,

still has its challenges. In particular,

the introduction of the National Living

Wage has significantly impacted

overheads and, although sunnier

weather brings short-term gains to

retailers, in the long-term productivity

improvements and customer focus,

coupled with increased consumer

confidence, is still needed for


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@ or 0131 623 6217.


Parking Index: data April 2016

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 May 2016, the

average turnover of parking spaces

per day was 1.8. This compares to

2.0 in the Old Town, 1.6 in the West

End and 0.8 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 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 Caste Street, St


Andrew Square, West Register Street, and Queen Street were 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.

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.

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

follow this link:



Edinburgh’s Conferences

Marketing Edinburgh is the organisation

dedicated to promoting Edinburgh to the world,

and encompasses a Convention Bureau and Film


Business Tourism

Convention Edinburgh attended

IMEX 2016 on the VisitScotland

stand. Pre scheduled appointments

were up on last year with over 40

appointments made on the stand.

The value of enquiries to date is

£35 million. Convention Edinburgh

also had the opportunity to present

on stand to an invited group of

international association clients, and

attend 7 additional events including

the annual BestCities client dinners

and Press Breakfast.

Convention Edinburgh carried out

a sales trip with Apex Hotels and

Prestige Venues and Events during

May 17th -19th. During this time, we

met with 10 clients that resulted in

a potential £8.6 million economic


On this 20th anniversary year of the

Edinburgh Ambassador Programme

Convention Edinburgh held a focus

group with 10 key ambassadors to

discuss and receive feedback on the

programme and explore future plans.

From the evening’s conversation

several points are now being

actioned to ensure the programme

continues to support academic

and professionals in attracting

conferences to the city.

From April 2015 to March 2016,

Convention Edinburgh alongside

its members has confirmed 206

conferences, attracting just over

74,000 delegates to the city between

2015 and 2021 with an economic

benefit of over £94.3 million. Since

April 2016, Convention Edinburgh

has secured 13 new conferences

with a combined economic benefit of

just over £8 million.

Film Edinburgh

June is very much film month for

Edinburgh. The city has not only

hosted a Film Festival, but also

several productions. Edinburgh

International Film Festival selected

four films that Film Edinburgh

has been involved with, including

Opening Gala Tommy’s Honour,

which was made in the Edinburgh

city region last year, with offices in

Edinburgh and locations in East

Lothian and the Scottish Borders,

and The Correspondence by Italian

director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema

Paradiso) starring Jeremy Irons

and Olga Kurylenko which puts

Edinburgh city centre on the screen.

Turning to filming, feature film

Churchill, starring Brian Cox and


John Slattery, made use of Calton

Hill, Rutland Square and Cramond,

and the sequel to Trainspotting

has been making appearances

in several locations in the city

centre and suburbs, including a

somewhat over-subscribed nightclub

sequence. We have also had several

light entertainment shows making

use of Edinburgh’s locations: the

American equivalent of Location

Location Location - House Hunters

International - in Edinburgh; X-factor

auditions at the Assembly Rooms;

My Kitchen Rules, a cookery

competition show, in Colinton and

Portobello; Ladies of London for

BBC Worldwide at Dundas Castle

with a visit to The Dome and the

Grassmarket; and there have been

commercials for RBS, Vero Moda

fashion, NHS, Busy Bee stationery

and Skyscanner.

We have had a wonderful response

to our ESPC piece about location

filming with over 200 property

owners getting in touch. Film

Edinburgh is always looking for new

locations of all sorts, be they homes

or offices, landscapes or otherwise,

and would be delighted to hear from

anyone interested in the possibility

of location filming. Find out more at

Film Edinburgh is the film office for

Edinburgh, East Lothian and the

Scottish Borders, working on behalf

of the Council to promote the area as

a filming destination.

Upcoming Conferences

Conferences which will take place during July, August and September 2016

have a combined value of over £22.5 million and will attract over 14,800

delegates. These include:

Confirmed Conferences

17 - 22 July 2016, International Environmetrics Society, 250


18 - 21 July 2016, International Council of Systems

Engineering, 900 delegates

17 - 19 August 2016, Edinburgh Anaesthesia Festival 2016,

180 delegates

18 - 19 August 2016, Turing Festival 2016, 1000 delegates




Edinburgh Airport has today

announced the latest passenger

numbers showing 1,111,377

passengers used in the airport in


This is an 8.5 % increase on May

2015, making this the busiest ever

May at the airport.

In 2013 and 2014 July and August

were million passenger months at

Edinburgh Airport.

Last year May, June, July, August,

September and October were million

passenger months. So Far in 2016

April and May have been million

passenger months.

Welcoming May’s passenger figures,

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s

Chief Executive, said:

“May’s record breaking passenger

figures make this another great

month at Edinburgh Airport.

“This is great news for Scotland’s

connectivity and the economy at

large. But being on course for a

record seventh consecutive millionpassenger

months also underlines

the need for Edinburgh Airport to

adapt so we can accommodate the

ever increasing number of people

wanting to fly in and out of Scotland’s

Capital city.

“We need to modernise and improve

Edinburgh Airport in a way that

maximises the benefits for all of

Scotland and minimises the impact

on local communities.

“That is why this week we launched

Let’s Go Further - a consultation

aimed at gaining responses from

the public that will help us inform the

design of any potential future flight


“We want everyone to know they

have the opportunity to have their say

on the positioning of potential future


flight path changes.

“As of Monday [27th June] a

leaflet drop to over 640,000 doors

commences. We are also targeting

900,000 people through TV

advertising of as well as an outdoor

advertising campaign in arterial

routes across Edinburgh and in

national and local newspapers

adverts. We’ll also be engaging with

community groups to help us have

discussions in local communities.

“We are absolutely committed to

undertaking a robust and meaningful

consultation process.”

Increase in International was mainly

due to the new routes that have

launched at EDI over the last year.

• easyJet’s new Stuttgart

(launched in Nov 15), Vienna

and Venice services (launched

Feb 16) boosted passenger

numbers vs May 2015. More

flights operated to Amsterdam,

Milan and Berlin.

• Ryanair’s Copenhagen service

was new from November 2015.

Flights operating to Dublin were

fuller, and more flights operated

to Barcelona, Alicante, Malta,

Palma de Mallorca and Krakow,

boosting passenger numbers

compared to May 2015.

• Etihad operated daily in May

2016, it launched on the 8th

June 2015.

• Last May Vueling only operated

services to Barcelona, in

May 2016 they also operated

services to Rome Fiumicino

which launched on 29 March (3

per week) and Paris Orly which

launched on 12 March (4 per


New routes launched included:

• Transavia Paris Orly 22 April

(4 per week)

• Finnair Helsinki on 18 April

(up to 5 per week)

• Vienna on 29 April

(2 per week)

• Heraklion on 27 May

(2 per week)

• Kefalonia on 25 May

(1 per week)

• Larnaca on 25 May

(1 per week) launched Tenerife, Gran

Canaria and Lanzarote in February

so these also contributed to strong

May growth. These are all new from

Jet2 from Edinburgh and are the

first of the 12 new routes they launch

from EDI this year.

Gordon Robertson, Director of Communications 07785 372961 or



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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