Engel & Völkers Commercial has been carrying out pedestrian frequency counts since 1994. The pedestrian frequency is a relevant parameter for retailers to be able to evaluate a location and it reflects the attractiveness of a location. In concrete terms, it indicates how many people have walked past a specific counting point in a specific period of time. Below you will find information about the latest counts.
1. Pedestrian frequency count December 2020
Engel & Völkers Commercial evaluated the footfall of 99 retail-relevant locations in 49 cities on Monday 14/12/20 and Tuesday 15/12/20 before the second Corona Lockdown. Frequencies between 10am and 8pm on 14/15 December 2020 were looked at, compared to Monday 7 December 2020 and the Saturdays before Advent Sundays.
We have summarised the main results below. The data was provided by hystreet.com GmbH, a subsidiary of the investor Aachener Grund.
Shopping miles busy nationwide ahead of lockdown
The images in numerous media were reminiscent of the closing sale in some scenes two days before the retail lockdown. Figures from Engel & Völkers Commercial Research confirm the impressions in frequented shopping streets. The company's latest pedestrian frequency count of 99 retail-relevant locations in 49 German cities shows a number of passers-by amounting to 2,329,222 for Monday, 14 December 2020, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. In percentage terms, this corresponds to an increase of around 55 per cent compared to the previous week (1,503,440 passers-by).
Strong Monday, but weaker than Saturday
"At 62 counting points, the number of passers-by on 14 December 2020 increased by more than 50 per cent compared to 7 December 2020, and at seven locations by more than 100 per cent," reports Miriam Siegert, Research Analyst at Engel & Völkers Commercial in Hamburg. The most significant percentage increase was registered in Düsseldorf for Schadowstraße-Mitte. With 9,438 more passers-by than in the comparable observation period, the increase there was +187.4%, followed by Flinger Strasse-Ost (13,099, +108.4%) as well as Mittelstrasse (6,637, 108%). Compared to the Saturday before the third Advent, a total of 647,896 fewer passers-by were on the move in the locations evaluated on the day of the count (-23.4%). The highest number of passers-by was recorded on 14 December in Kaufingerstraße in Munich (a total of 62,865 passers-by, +42.9% compared to 07.12.).
Only a slightly positive change was seen on Tuesday. A total of 2,195,268 passers-by were registered. Compared to Monday, this is 133,954 fewer passers-by (-5.8%).
Dialogue in an economic borderline situation
There is no doubt that large parts of the stationary retail trade in Germany are facing difficult times. The renewed lockdown will bring numerous businesses to their financial limits as costs continue to rise, often leading to a struggle for economic survival. "It would be important in the retail sector for owners and landlords to look for individual solutions together with their tenants in times of Corona in order to survive this marginal economic situation," reports Sinje-Swala Buschmann, Head of Retail Services at Engel & Völkers Commercial Hamburg, with a view to the future. In her opinion, the contracting parties must also keep an eye on the medium-term development of the cityscape, as increasing vacancies always have an impact on the quality of individual locations.
Differentiated statements by the experts
Two current surveys come to differentiated statements here. The German Retail Association (HDE), after surveying 245 retailers, published the result that tenants' attempts to hold talks with their landlords about adjusting their leases were unsuccessful in two-thirds of the cases. According to a recent analysis of leases among members of the Central Real Estate Committee ZIA, the umbrella organisation of the real estate industry, which has numerous shops in German city centres and shopping centres with a total of more than 12,000 leases, an agreement is still open in only ten percent of the leases with the respective tenants. A rent reduction has been agreed with about 50% of the retailers affected as a result of the Corona crisis.
2. Pedestrian frequency count May 2020
In May, the Corona measures were gradually relaxed throughout Germany. Many people gratefully accepted this and used the regained freedom for shopping again. The number of passers-by in the city centres proves this: between the first and the fourth Saturday in May, the number of visitors rose nationwide, in some shopping streets even to a good double.
One street in Cologne was particularly popular: the most visited shopping street in Germany on Saturday, 30 May, was the Schildergasse (centre) in the pedestrian zone of Cologne's Old Town North. Almost 7,700 passers-by per hour strolled past the counting point there on the fourth Saturday in May.
In 2020, Engel & Völkers Commercial once again evaluated the pedestrian frequencies in the top shopping locations in 55 cities at 113 counting points in Germany.We have summarised the key findings for you below.
Numerous people gratefully accepted the nationwide relaxation of the Corona measures in May. This is shown, among other things, by a look at the increasing number of passers-by in the city centres. Between the first and the fourth Saturday in May, the number of visitors increased nationwide, in some shopping streets even to a good double.
113 counting points in 55 cities
Engel & Völkers Commercial evaluated the data of hystreet.com, a subsidiary of the investor Aachener Grund, to look at important German shopping streets. The company carries out laser measurements* at shopping hotspots in Germany. This year, pedestrian frequencies were counted at 113 locations in 55 cities. The frequencies between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on all Tuesdays and Saturdays in May 2020 were considered. The evaluation of several days in the month prevents factors such as weather or events from having a major influence on the values.
Cologne ahead of Frankfurt and Munich
One street in Cologne was particularly popular: the most visited shopping street in Germany on Saturday, 30 May, was Schildergasse (centre) in the pedestrian zone of Cologne's Old Town North. On the fourth Saturday in May, almost 7,700 passers-by per hour strolled past the counting point there. The Zeil (Mitte) in Frankfurt follows close behind, with around 7,600 people passing by the counting point there on 30 May. In third place was Kaufingerstraße in Munich. There, 6,900 passers-by were counted per hour.
Not all is as it used to be
"However, comparisons with the month of May in 2019 make it clear that, despite the rising number of visitors to the shopping miles, everything is far from the same as before," emphasises Miriam Siegert, research analyst at Engel & Völkers Commercial in Hamburg. If one takes the visitor numbers of all four May Saturdays together, it shows that despite an upward trend, there were significantly fewer passers-by in the shopping streets overall than in the previous year. Considered over all Tuesdays, there was a decrease in the number of shoppers at seven locations (Berlin: Kurfürstendamm North Side (East); Freiburg: Rathausgasse; Hamburg: Jungfernstieg, Spitalerstrasse and Neuer Wall; Frankfurt: Goethestraße; Munich: Neuhauser Straße) saw a decrease of over 30% compared to the previous year, based on 47 comparable locations in 2019. Two locations saw a change of over 50% (Rathausgasse in Freiburg -56.6%, Kurfürstendamm Nordseite (Ost)in Berlin -65.3%). On Saturday, there was a decrease of over 40% in 19 locations compared to the previous year. In Berlin, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Hamburg and Munich there was a change of over 50% at some counting points. Also like Tuesday, the highest decreases were observed in Rathausgasse in Freiburg (-65.4 %) and Kurfürstendamm Nordseite-Ost (-75.7 %).
Some locations almost at the previous year's level
The popular Neuhauser Straße in Munich, for example - in 2019 it was ranked number 1 in the May ranking of best-visited shopping locations - suffered a 56% drop in footfall at its count point in 2020. Nevertheless, this still meant 4th place in the 2020 May ranking. Other locations, however, were almost on a par with the previous year. For example, Königstraße (south) in Stuttgart. Compared to 2019, it lost only 15 per cent of passers-by (all four May Saturdays taken together).
Top time: Saturday between 3 and 5 p.m.
"The reason for the more or less strong drops in the number of passers-by is probably the differently rigid Corona measures of the federal states," explains the research analyst. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, large shops were already able to open again on 4 May, while in Bavaria the rule still applied that customers were only allowed into shop areas of less than 800 square metres. On average, footfall on Saturday was around 48% higher than on Tuesday, which means that despite the Corona pandemic, Saturday still retains its status as the main shopping day. Most top values were recorded on Saturdays in the two hours between 3pm and 5pm.
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