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Footfall drops off in late summer

Footfall continued its decline over the late summer, recording a 1.3% decline for the four week period to 24 August.

According to the latest BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, the latest decline is compared with 1.6% drop for the same period last year.

High street footfall declined by 1.9%, following a decrease of 2% in August last year. The three-month average decline is 3.1%. Shopping centre footfall also declined by 2.2%, following last year’s decline of 2.4%, with the three-month average declining by 2.6%.

Retail park footfall increased by 1% however, following on from August 2018 when footfall increased by 0.3%. The three-month average growth is 0.7%.

On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 2.1%, with the six and twelve–month average also declining by 1.4% and 1.7% respectively.

The footfall decline continues a trend that has footfall decline every year since Springboard started publishing its national data in January 2009.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, Springboard, said: “In the face of weak consumer confidence and declining sales a drop in footfall of 1.3% in August wasn’t unexpected.

“We must remember that declining footfall is a long term trend with annual increases being the exception rather than the rule. Indeed, footfall has declined in every year since Springboard started publishing its national data in January 2009.”

She added: “On a positive note, August had the strongest footfall over the summer months, and it was also an improvement on last year when footfall declined by 1.6%. This month’s result was bolstered by the final week of the month, when the hottest August bank holiday on record improved footfall from -1.4% to -0.6%.”

Helen Dickinson, CEO, British Retail Consortium, said: “Retail footfall continues its downwards trajectory this month, with high streets and shopping centres most affected.

“The long-term trend, which has seen footfall decline by an average of 1.7% over the last 12 months, reflects the fact that increasingly cautious consumers are holding back on discretionary spending and not heading out to the shops.”

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