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High Street

Retail footfall ‘slumps’ in June

Footfall declined by 2.9% in June, attributed to the “exceptional and ongoing disruptive political and economic period”, according to retail intelligence firm Springboard.

On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 2.4%, and the six and 12–month averages were found to be -1.3% and -1.7% respectively. High street footfall also declined by 4.5%, following from the increase of 0.1% in June last year.

Additionally, retail park footfall increased by 0.1%, compared with June 2018 when footfall decreased by 0.4%, and shopping centre footfall declined by 2.4%, following the decline of 3.4% seen last year.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said: “Given the exceptional and ongoing disruptive political and economic period we are facing coupled with unprecedented structural changes in the retail sector, we might actually expect consumer activity to have taken an even greater hit.

“However, whilst footfall in high streets across the UK dropped by -4.5% in June, the continuing and growing demand from consumers for experience meant that in regional cities – which by virtue of the sheer breadth and depth of their offer means they can deliver on experience – footfall was far more resilient, declining only very marginally by -0.6%.”

She added: “So it is clear that consumer demand is polarised between convenience and accessibility provided so effectively by retail parks, and consumers’ craving for experience, driving them towards larger retail destinations.”

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Poor footfall this June led to a significant fall in the sales figures for the month. High streets were worst hit by the relatively poor June weather, with shopping centres also performing badly, however, retail parks managed to buck the trend.

“Last year’s World Cup and glorious sunshine set a high bar, which 2019’s slow consumer spending and Brexit uncertainty failed to live up to.”

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