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High Street

Footfall dips for seventh consecutive month despite World Cup boost

Retail footfall dipped for a seventh consecutive month in June, despite the boost in spending brought on by the World Cup.

BRC’s Footfall Springboard and Vacancies Monitor reported that year-on-year footfall for the month dropped by 0.9%  The high street was the only area that delivered footfall growth, albeit marginally, with a 0.1% increase. Retail parks and shopping centres were the hardest hit delivering a drop in footfall of 0.4% and 3.4% respectively.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said it’s the first time since November 2017 that the high street saw consecutive months of growth. She said: “However, retail parks and shopping centres have had an altogether more difficult time, albeit June 2017 was a tough comparable, and the overall trend of fewer visits to bricks and mortar stores remains.

Consumer behaviour has changed, with shoppers now requiring much more choice in terms of how, when and where they shop and retailers are responding to this, investing in their physical store experiences and online presence.”

She added: “Initiatives such as the Government’s Great British High Street Awards are increasingly important as communities adapt and thrive during this period of retail transformation.

“However, considerable pressure on retail remains but policy makers can help by supporting our call for a two-year freeze in business rate increases to provide some headroom while a reform of the business rates system is carried out.”

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard said the seventh consecutive month of footfall decline means it is the longest period of continued footfall decline since 2015.

She said: “The shift to leisure based trips, initially evidenced by uplifts in footfall post 5pm, now also supports footfall during the day time trading period.  Many high streets have capitalised on this trend more swiftly than shopping centres, demonstrated by a drop of -0.8% in day time footfall in high streets in June compared with -3.9% in shopping centres.  

“Clearly many shopping centres need to transform quickly to be able to capitalise once again on their inherent assets of cohesive management and strength of offer.”

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