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High Street

Retail footfall slumps 10% over last seven years

Retail footfall has dropped by 10% in the last seven years, according to the latest footfall figures from the BRC and Springboard.

It comes amid another month of declining footfall, as the number of shoppers visiting high streets stores dropped by 1.7% in September, compared with the same point last year when it also declined by 1.7%.

On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 1.6%, and Springboard said, the six and 12–month averages are at -2.0% and -1.7% respectively.

High street footfall declined by 1.8%, following from the decrease of 2.2% in September last year. The three-month average decline is 2.1%.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said: “Whilst the drop in footfall of -1.7% in September was greater than in August, the vast majority of this decline emanated from the last week of the month when footfall was hit by exceptionally heavy rain.

“To provide some context, the decline in footfall of -6.1% in that last week of the month was the worst of any week since March/April 2018 when the UK was hit by the Beast from the East.”

She added: “The relatively strong footfall performance in the preceding four weeks, which averaged at -0.7%, had been looking reasonably positive and had the last week’s rain not hit the month’s performance, it is likely that footfall for the month would have dropped by less than -1%.”

BRC CEO, Helen Dickinson, said: “Retailers are facing a sustained drop in footfall, with numbers of visitors down over 10% in the last seven years alone. With Brexit looming, many consumers are holding off from all but essential purchases, and it is no surprise that the 1.7% drop in footfall has also contributed to a similar fall in sales.

“High streets and shopping centres were hit hardest with retail parks faring slightly better as they continue to entice shoppers with their varied consumer offering.”

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