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Coventry City Centre Christmas Survey 2013 & Christmas Footfall

Insight Team March 2014

0


Contents

1.

Executive Summary .................................................................................................... 2

2.

Introduction ................................................................................................................. 3

3.

Research Aim and Objectives ..................................................................................... 3

4.

Survey methodology ................................................................................................... 3

5.

Performance ............................................................................................................... 4

6.

7.

5.1.

City Centre Footfall ................................................................................ 4

5.2.

Void Units .............................................................................................. 6

Survey Results ............................................................................................................ 6 6.1.

Shopping on day of survey (street sample only) .................................... 6

6.2.

Christmas advertising campaign ............................................................ 8

6.3.

Other Christmas marketing .................................................................... 9

6.4.

Campaign impact ................................................................................. 10

6.5.

Festive offers and attractions ............................................................... 11

Respondent Demographics ....................................................................................... 13

1


1.

Executive Summary Coventry City Centre did not see the traditional peak in visitor footfall in the week immediately before Christmas in 2013; instead, footfall figures suggest that people were doing their shopping earlier in November and December. Although year-on-year city footfall was down in the run up to Christmas, compared to the national footfall picture Coventry fared reasonably well. The Christmas marketing campaign for the city centre in 2013 went under the banner of “Discover Our City: Christmas in Coventry”. The festive offer included the usual late night Wednesday shopping, free parking at certain times and various festive events and attractions held in the city centre. A free shopping guide was published which was delivered to local households and also made available in city centre shopping centres. The 2013 survey of city centre Christmas shoppers revealed that:  Approximately one third of those surveyed could recall Christmas advertising for Coventry City Centre (27% without any prompt, rising to 36% when provided with a visual prompt of the campaign graphic used). 

20% of respondents had visited the visitcoventry.co.uk website to find information about Christmas in Coventry City Centre

42% had seen the shopping guide (and just over half of those who had seen the guide had read it).

37% had already used, or planned to take advantage of, the free parking offer.

53% were aware of festive events and attractions in the city centre (and the majority of these had attended at least one).

64% rated 2013 Christmas decorations and the lights display within the city centre as either excellent or good. The proportion giving an excellent rating was much improved on the 2012 survey despite some negative local press regarding tree decorations in 2013.

The proportion of respondents who said that the 2013 advertising campaign had encouraged them to visit Coventry City Centre during the festive period was over double the proportion in the previous survey (29% compared to 11% in 2012). Of those who had not been encouraged, nearly half (44%) indicated this was due to a lack of awareness of the advertising.

2


2.

Introduction This report presents a review of the 2013 Christmas period in Coventry City Centre, analysing the results of the city centre Christmas Survey 2013 and examining performance indicator data from the Christmas period. The city centre Christmas survey is carried out annually on behalf of Coventry’s Business Improvement District (BID). Findings are used to gauge public awareness and perceptions of the annual city centre Christmas marketing campaign, to assess the popularity of seasonal city centre events and promotions and to examine shopper behaviour.

3.

Research Aim and Objectives The overall aim of this on-going review is to present latest Christmas survey findings alongside city centre performance measures during the Christmas period. Objectives of the review are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4.

4.

To analyse city centre footfall, prime retail void units during the busiest retail period of the year. To investigate awareness and impact of various Christmas marketing activities such as advertising, special offers and Christmas initiatives and events. To measure awareness of Coventry City Centre Christmas attractions and events and levels of attendance at these. To examine public perceptions of 2013 festive promotions

Survey methodology The Christmas survey was conducted face-to-face with shoppers in Coventry City Centre and also hosted online during the run up to Christmas 2013. Examples of the 2013 Christmas campaign visual branding and Christmas shopping guide cover were used as prompts where necessary. Fieldwork for the street survey is carried out by a market research company commissioned by the council. Researchers are based around the main city centre shopping areas (Upper and Lower Precinct, Broadgate and West Orchards shopping centre) and randomly select shoppers passing by to ask them to participate in the survey. The link to the online survey was advertised on the destination website visitcoventry.co.uk and to members of the Insight Team contact database via email. In total, there were 543 respondents to the Christmas survey 2013, 301 respondents were interviewed on street and 242 responses were submitted online.

3


Performance 5.1. City Centre Footfall Footfall in the city centre during week 51 (week ending 22 December) and week 52 (Christmas week) 2013 was, in both cases, down against 2012. Week 51 is generally the busiest week of the year in the city centre, however, examining footfall data for the weeks preceding Christmas 2013 suggests that the run up to Christmas started earlier this year; the city centre was busier than at the same time in 2012 for 5 of the 8 weeks prior to Christmas week. Coventry City Centre outperformed the national picture for footfall throughout November and December.

-2.5%

-5.9% -6.0%

-3.3%

-0.1%

2.9%

2.4%

6.3% -0.3%

-1.4% -2.7%

-4.0%

-10%

-5.0%

-5%

-2.9%

0%

-2.8%

5%

3.2%

10%

4.6%

Christmas Footfall

% change

-15%

-13.9%

5.

-20% 44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

Week Coventry Ci ty Centre

Na tiona l

Overall, footfall within the city centre during December (week 49, week ending 8th December, up until week 52, week ending 29th Dec), was down by 1.6% compared to the same period in 2012. Looking at Coventry City Centre footfall during the Christmas period (week 47 to week 51) over time shows 2013 footfall to have recovered slightly when compared to 2012 figures but it remains below average against preceding years (West Orchards footfall figures are not included in the footfall index illustrated below due to incomplete like-for-like data for this location). Coventry City Centre Christmas Footfall Index 2006 to 2013 (week 47 to week 52 not incl. West Orchards) Footfall Index 120

110

100

90

80 2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

[100 on the 'Footfall Index' scale above represents the average for week 47 to 51 footfall between 2006 and 2013] 4


As already mentioned, historically, footfall figures have dramatically peaked during week 51, the week before Christmas, although this was not the case in 2013. Comparing footfall in week 51 over time, the footfall index shows a decrease against the average when compared to 2012. (N.B. calculations use 2009 week 52 figures due to a 53 week year).

Coventry City Centre Week 51 Footfall Index 2006 to 2013 (not incl. West Orchards) Footfall Index 130 120 110 100

90 80 2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

[Week 51 in 2013 was week ending 22/12/2013. 100 on the 'Footfall Index' scale above represents the average for week 51 footfall between 2006 and 2013]

Wednesday evenings in the city centre during the Christmas period, with late night shopping and free car parking are seen to be a key stimulant to footfall. The area highlighted in yellow on the chart below illustrates where Wednesday counts exceed the maximum footfall recorded on other days of the week during weeks 47 to 51.

The 2013 car park offer (free parking after 3pm on Wednesdays in the run up to Christmas in council-run city centre car parks plus after 3pm daily during the week leading up to Christmas day) aimed to encourage shoppers into the city centre. Looking at Wednesday footfall between 3pm and 10pm and comparing this to the average footfall recorded on other shopping days (Sunday 5


excluded) between week 47 and week 51 showed a 22% increase in city centre footfall on Wednesday during this time period. 5.2. Void Units At the end of the final quarter of 2013 there were 60 void units recorded in the prime retail area of the city centre. This compares to 48 at the end of quarter 4 in 2012. At a time of year when temporary shop lets have historically been observed to reduce the number of void units in the city centre, this is, disappointingly, the highest recorded quarter 4 result since monitoring began in 2005.

2012 Q1

Q2

60

65

58

Q4

Q2

44

Q3

56

44

Q2

2013 Q1

44

2011 Q1

48

57 39

42

47

38

48

50

40

Q4

Count

60

59

80

Retail voids in prime retail area of Coventry City Centre: trend

20

6.

Q4

Q3

Q4

Q3

Q3

Q2

2010 Q1

0

Survey Results 6.1. Shopping on day of survey (street sample only) On the day of their interview, the majority of people surveyed in the city centre said their main purpose for visiting was to go shopping for gifts (46%). The other main reason given was work/business (23%). 14% of respondents were in town doing other, i.e. non-gift, types of shopping (9% shopping for general non-food items and 5% shopping for food). Main reason for visit to Coventry City Centre 46%

Gift shopping 23%

Work, business or study 9%

Non-food shopping (other than gifts)

6%

Tourist visit / sightseeing Food shopping

5%

Socialising - visiting or meeting friends

4%

Eating / drinking out

2%

Services (e.g. banking / post office)

1%

Leisure – sports, entertainment

1%

Health Services (e.g. optician)

0.3%

Library visit

0.3% 1%

Other 0%

20%

40% % of street respondents

6

60%

80%


22% of respondents indicated that they would not be doing any shopping during their visit. Those who said they would do some shopping during their trip were questioned about the shops they intended to go to that day. Boots, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Primark were the top four stores that respondents intended to visit.

40% 21%

11%

10%

10%

9%

Game

17%

Next

23%

20%

HMV

26%

30%

10%

9%

9%

8%

8%

6%

6%

6%

Market

Clinton's

Wilkinsons

WH Smith

Topshop/ TopMan

River Island

BHS

New Look

Primark

Debenhams

Marks and Spencers

0%

Boots

% of those shopping on day of survey

Shopping intentions: most popular named stores (multiple response)

Analysis of respondents' anticipated spend showed that most shoppers estimated that they would spend over £25 during their visit to the city centre on the day they were surveyed. Most commonly, people surveyed indicated that they would spend between £26 and £50 (25%). The average spend per head per visit was £61.42, a reduction of more than £8 compared to the mean spend of £69.70 in 2012.

25%

£51-75 16%

£100+

£61.42

£69.70

£64.08

£59.46

£40

23%

£76-100

£56.13

£60

£26-50

£61.11

10%

£61.66

£11-25

£56.96

£80

4%

£46.41

£10 or less

£60.74

Mean estimated spend per trip: trend analysis

Intended spend in Coventry City Centre

£20

20% £0

0%

10%

20%

30%

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

40%

% of those shopping on day of survey

7


All respondents were asked about their preferred destination for Christmas shopping. 45% of respondents said that Coventry City Centre was their main centre, while 12% preferred to shop online or from catalogues. Other popular centres used were Birmingham (10%), Arena Park (7%) and Leamington Spa (6%). Most of those answering 'other' specified a variety of places. Main centre chosen for Christmas shopping 50%

45%

40% 30% 20%

12%

10%

10%

7%

6%

3%

2%

2%

2%

6%

2%

1%

0%

he r Ot

Co ve nt ry In Ci te ty rn Ce et nt (sh re op on lin e) Bi rm Ar in gh en am a Pa rk (R Le ico am h) in gt on Sp a Ce nt ra lS ix Ga lla S gh ol ih er ul Re l ta il P ar k Le ice st er Nu ne at on Lo nd on Fo ss e Pa rk

0%

6.2. Christmas advertising campaign Without prompts, 27% of respondents said that they had seen/heard any advertisements or slogans regarding Christmas in Coventry City Centre and nearly two thirds of these were able to specify advertising they had experienced. Of those respondents who were able to specify, 49% recalled a particular type of promotion, 48% recalled promotion of particular attractions and 35% recalled slogans. In terms of promotion type, the most commonly recalled advertising was promotion done by West Orchards shopping centre and adverts heard on the radio. The Christmas parking offer and late night shopping were the most recalled attraction advertising and the majority of those recalling a slogan specified some part of the main “Discover Our City/ Christmas in Coventry” 2013 branding. Given a visual prompt of the “Christmas in Coventry” promotion, the number of people who had said they had seen the 2013 advertising campaign rose by 9% to 36%. In terms of trend analysis, with the exception of 2006 (which was helped by a repeat campaign and TV advertising), general levels of prompted awareness of the Christmas campaign have fluctuated between 29% and 37%. This year saw higher levels of awareness than the previous three years. Recall of the Christmas marketing campaign with visual prompt 80%

70%

60% 40%

36%

30%

37% 29%

33%

22%

36% 29%

26%

2011

2012

20% 0% 2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2013

Shown the visual prompt again, respondents were asked whether they recalled the 2013 advertising campaign from a variety of sources. Nearly half of those who had indicated awareness of the 2013 8


campaign said they had seen branded posters or flags (47%) and 24% had seen or received the Christmas shopping guide. Respondents who selected 'Other' specified the library, West Orchards and at events. Specify where seen/heard the campaign Pos ters / fl a gs a round ci ty centre

47%

Di s Cover Chri s tma s i n Coventry s hoppi ng gui de

24% 21%

Promotiona l l ea fl ets Coventry Tel egra ph

19%

Pa nel s a round Chri s tma s trees i n ci ty centre

19% 16%

La mp pos t ba nners a l ong ci ty roa ds On s oci a l medi a e.g. Twi tter/ Fa cebook

9%

Loca l ra di o (e.g. Free ra di o)

8%

Coventry Ti mes

8%

On bi g s creen, Mi l l enni um Pl a ce

7%

Internet (e.g. vi s i tcoventry.co.uk webs i te)

7%

On ca r pa rk ticket ma chi nes

6%

Advertis ement by Ri coh Arena

5% 7%

Other 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

6.3. Other Christmas marketing 20% of respondents said that they had visited the visitcoventry.co.uk website for information about Christmas in Coventry City Centre. Of these, 72% thought that the website was either 'excellent' or 'good'. Just 3% of users answered ‘poor and no users gave a ‘very poor’ rating. On a scale of 1(very poor) to 5 (excellent) the mean rating was 3.88. A “Discover Our City: Christmas in Coventry” free shopping guide was delivered to local homes and also made available via shopping centres in the city centre. 42% of respondents said that they had seen the guide (an image of the cover was provided as a visual prompt). Of the people who had seen it, over half (56%) said that they had read it (readership of the guide was 23% of the whole sample). Coventry City Council ceased to publish Feel Alive magazine in 2013 and the ‘Discover’ Christmas shopping guide was issued at the time the Feel Alive Christmas edition would usually have been circulated. The proportion of the sample aware of the new guide compares favourably with readership of Christmas Feel Alive recorded in previous surveys, as shown in the chart below. Seen latest Christmas shopping magazine 60%

46%

35%

40% 20%

52% 35%

24% 15%

15%

2004

2005

42% 27%

24%

2011

2012

0% 2006

2007

2008

2009

9

2010

2013 shopping guide


People who had read the ‘Discover’ guide were asked to rate its usefulness (5 being very useful, 1 being not at all useful). 69% rated the magazine 4 or 5 i.e. useful or very useful. The mean score was 3.83. How useful did you find the magazine? 60%

% of readers

45% 40% 24%

23%

20% 6%

2%

2

1 - Not a t a l l us eful

0% 5 - Very us eful

4

3

The majority of comments that readers made about the guide were positive with compliments for the size and content. Some readers suggested that the guide should contain a wider range of information while negative comments were mostly about a lack of appeal to the reader or limited content.

6.4. Campaign impact 29% of respondents said that this year's Christmas advertising campaign and/or the 'Discover’ shopping guide had encouraged them to visit Coventry City Centre for Christmas shopping. This was more than double those encouraged by the campaign and/or Feel Alive Christmas magazine in 2012 (11%). The 71% of respondents who said the 2013 advertising campaign had not encouraged them to visit were asked why this was. The most common reason was not having seen any of the advertising or not having paid any attention to it (44%). 24% said they would shop in Coventry City Centre regardless of any advertising and the same proportion preferred alternative destinations.. If not encouraged to visit by campaign/ guide, why not? (single response) Not seen any of this advertising or did not pay any/ much attention to it

44%

Would do Christmas shopping in Coventry City Centre regardless of any advertising

24%

I don’t think much of Coventry for shopping/ prefer other shopping destination(s)

24%

I don’t do any Christmas shopping / do not celebrate Christmas

2%

Visitor to Coventry/ not from this region

2%

Other reason

5% 0%

20%

40%

60%

Nearly half of respondents (47%) said that they had seen or heard Christmas advertisements for other areas, Birmingham, Leamington Spa and Westfield Merry Hill in Dudley being the most frequently specified.

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6.5. Festive offers and attractions During the Christmas shopping period, free parking was offered after 3pm on Wednesdays in all council operated city centre car parks and after 3pm daily during the week before Christmas. Over a third of respondents (37%) said that they had already used, or planned to take advantage of, the offer. This proportion was much improved over the 2012 survey when 10% used free parking (although it should be noted that the question in 2012 did not ask about intention to use the offer). The most popular car parks within the offer were West Orchards, Lower Precinct, Barracks and Belgrade Plaza In total, 53% of respondents indicated that they were aware of festive events and attractions in the city centre this Christmas and of these, 85% had attended at least one event. Aware of Christmas events/ attractions in Coventry City Centre 80% 60%

58%

58%

62%

2006

2007

56%

51%

59% 51%

52%

53%

2011

2012

2013

38%

40% 20% 0% 2004

2005

2008

2009

2010

Individually, the Christmas Lights Switch-On was the most popular event, attracting 60% of those who attended any event/ attraction. Over a third of attendees visited Christmas Fountain Stage events (35%) and a similar proportion used the Christmas Express Land Train (34%). ‘Other’ responses included events held in Lower Precinct and West Orchards shopping centres and the Coke truck promotional event in Broadgate. Events visited Chri s tma s Li ghts Swi tch-On

60%

Chri s tma s Fountai n Stage events

35%

Chri s tma s Expres s La nd Tra i n

34%

December Fa rmers ' Ma rket

27%

Tuni s i a n-s tyl e Interna tiona l Ma rket

26%

Rol l er ri nk & di s co

24%

Vi ntage & ha ndma de fa i r

15%

Chri s tma s Ci nema Cl ub

10%

Chri s tma s for Ki ds event

9%

Other

12% 0%

20%

40%

60%

% of those attending any event

11

80%


63% of those aware of 2013 festive events and attractions rated this year’s programme offer as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Only 10% gave a 'poor' or 'very poor’ rating.

% of those aware of events/ attractions

Rating of the Christmas events offer 60%

47%

40% 20%

27% 16% 8%

2%

0% Excel l ent

Good

Avera ge

Poor

Very poor

Average levels of satisfaction with the overall Christmas events programme was 3.67, a slight increase compared to the 2012 mean score.

1=very poor to 5=excellent

Rating of the Christmas events programme (mean scores): trend 5 4

3.56

3.73

2004

2005

3.76

3.88

3.64

3.46

2008

2009

3.23

3.66

3.47

3.67

2011

2012

2013

3 2 1 2006

2007

2010

Nearly two thirds of the sample (64%) rated 2013 Christmas decorations and lights display within the city centre as either excellent or good. The proportion giving an excellent rating was much improved on the 2012 survey (21% compared to 9% in 2012) despite some negative local press regarding tree decorations in 2013.

Rating of 2013 Christmas decorations 60% 43% 40% 23%

21% 20%

8%

5%

Poor

Very poor

0% Excellent

Good

Average

Respondents were given the opportunity to make comments or suggestions regarding Coventry's festive events and attractions. A third of respondents made some comment. There were similar numbers of positive and negative comments although most comments received were suggestions for how the festive offer could be improved. Many of the suggestions and negative comments made included comparison to the offer in other cities.

12


Respondents were additionally asked whether they had attended any other events/attractions during 2013. 64% had attended at least one event/attraction, the most popular event being the Godiva Festival (46%). The proportion who had not attended any city event in the preceding year was 36%, down from 45% in 2012.

2013 events visited 46%

Godi va Fes tiva l (Jul y) Interna tiona l Ma rket (Aug)

21% 20%

Fa rmers ' Ma rkets (monthl y) Coventry Food Fes tiva l (Sep)

14% 12%

Godi va Awa kes Homecomi ng (Aug) Heri tage Open Da ys (Sep)

8% 7%

Student Shoppi ng Ni ght (Oct) Summer rol l er ri nk (Jul y)

5% 2%

Other ci ty centre event None of thes e

36% 0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

7. Respondent Demographics The sample was 67% female, 33% male and, asked for their ethnic group, respondents predominantly answered White (British, Irish or Other, 82%). 48% of respondents were aged under 35. The group with the largest response (30%) was the 25 to 34 year old age group. 9% of the sample considered themselves to have a disability. 76% of the sample lived in the CV1 to CV6 postcode area (Coventry postcodes), 20% were from other CV postcode areas (predominantly Warwickshire postcodes) and 4% outside Coventry and Warwickshire.

Postcode area

Age Under 16

2%

16-24

16%

25-34

12%

CV2

30%

35-44

CV4

16%

55-64

9%

75-84

7% 13%

CV5

4%

65-74

15%

CV3

21%

45-54

85+

9%

CV1

CV6

20%

Other CV postcode

20%

2% 1% 0%

10%

20%

30%

4%

Non CV postcode

40%

0%

13

10% 20% 30% 40%


Insight

If you need this information in another format please contact us: Telephone: (024) 7683 4372 Email: insight@coventry.gov.uk

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2013 Christmas Survey