March footfall higher

Footfall Monitor, March 2014: BRC

  • Footfall in March was 1.8% higher than a year ago, significantly up on the 2.9% fall in February and above the three-month average of 0.4%.
  • Footfall on the high street was 2.6% higher than the previous year for March, the largest rise in eleven months
  • Out-of-Town reported the greatest rise, 3.0% higher than a year ago, while footfall in shopping centers was down 0.5% on the previous year.

(Unfortunately, it looks like Easter was quieter than we all hoped)


More women starting businesses on the High Street

Female entrepreneurs take charge of high street growth: FSB

  • Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) data used in a BBC report shows the UK’s high streets have seen a dramatic number of women starting-up businesses than at any previous time
  • Half (49.5%) of small firms established in the past two years in retail, or hotels, catering and leisure are owned primarily by women
  • This is in stark contrast to high street businesses started more than 20 years ago. When the FSB last surveyed its members it found that only a quarter (24%) of these businesses were primarily female owned

Businesses optimism on a high

Business Trends: BDO

  • UK business optimism reached its highest level for 22 years in January, indicating that the economy will continue to grow rapidly over the coming six months
  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, reached 103.8 in January, up from 103.4 in December. This is the highest reading ever recorded since readings began 22 years ago and sits well above the 100.0 mark, meaning the UK is expected to outperform its long-term historical growth trend
  • The Employment Index rose to 101.3, up from 99.4 the previous month. The index now stands at its highest level since August 2008 and above the crucial 100.0 mark for the first time since March 2011, signalling that UK job creation is likely to exceed trend growth over the coming months
  • The Inflation Index read 97.9 in January, its lowest level since November 2009 and down from 98.7 at the end of last year.

Social media use by businesses

ICT usage in enterprises in 2013: Eurostat

  • In 2013, almost three quarters of enterprises employing 10 persons or more in the EU28 had a website, an increase of 6 percentage points compared with 2010 (73% compared with 67%).
  • In the EU28, 30% of enterprises used at least one type of social media in 2013, although only 8% of enterprises had a formal policy for social media use.
  • 28% of enterprises in the EU28 used social networks (e.g. Facebook) in 2013, 11% multi-media content sharing websites (e.g. YouTube), 10% blogs or micro blogs (e.g. Twitter) and 6% wiki-based knowledge-sharing tools.


Business confidence up

Business Trends: BDO

  • UK business confidence has increased for the tenth consecutive month
  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, increased from 101.7 in October to a 43-month high of 103.1 in November, taking it comfortably above the 100.0 mark that indicates the UK economy’s long-run average growth rate.
  • The Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations, went up from 100.7 to 101.8 in November
  • The Inflation Index was down from 100.5 in October to 99.7 this month

ICT Activity of UK Businesses, 2012

ICT Activity of UK Businesses, 2012

  • E-commerce sales represented 18% of business turnover in 2012, down from 19% in 2011, but up 4.5 percentage points from the 2008 estimate of 14%.
  • Sales by Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) made up two-thirds (67%) of total e-commerce sales in 2012, with the remainder (33%) from website sales.
  • Website sales (£164 billion) represented 6% of business turnover in 2012, up from 5% (£133 billion) in 2011.
  • 95% of businesses had broadband Internet and 82% had a website.
  • In 2012, 43% of businesses used social networks with almost a quarter (23%) using social media to respond to customer opinions, reviews or questions.

Demography – businesses

Business Demography, 2012: ONS

  • The number of business births increased by 8,000 (3.1 %) between 2011 and 2012.
  • The number of business deaths increased by 25,000 (11.0%) between 2011 and 2012.
  • In 2012 the births of new businesses (270,000) was greater than business deaths (255,000).
  • The move towards economic recovery has seen birth rates being higher than death rates from 2011, but the gap has narrowed in 2012.
  • London had the highest business birth rate at 14.8% and the highest death rate at 11.7%. Apart from London the number of birth and deaths by region were similar.
  • In broad industry terms, accommodation and food services had the highest death rate, at 13.3%.