New figures from the Retail Traffic Index show a continued slide in footfall over the month of October.
The figures, published today by Ipsos Retail Performance, revealed a year-on-year fall of -6.2% in non-food store visits across the month.
Footfall did, however, show improvement against the previous two months, which had seen declines of -9.9% and -9.8%.
Average weekly footfall was also up 1.1% against September. London and the south east were the only areas to see a fall in these figures, with declines of -1.1% against the previous month. IRP claim this was in part due to “disruption” caused by Extinction Rebellion protests.
Meanwhile, the three-month trend in the year-on-year gap continued to widen, with declines of -7.8% last month increasing to -8.6% in October.
Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at IRP, said that “non-food retailers have undoubtedly faced a drop in demand against last year, reflected both in store sales and footfall”.
“Some will be looking at the year-on-year figures and reflecting on the latest casualty on the high street, Bonmarché, together with the news about John Lewis suffering its first ever half-yearly loss.
He added: “The month-on-month data tells a more positive story though, as we head towards peak season. For the first time in five years, average weekly footfall in October was up on September’s.
“Quite which way the Golden Quarter will play out this year is a pure guessing game at this stage. These early signals might indicate that consumers could be building a head of steam, with an eye on Black Friday and the promise of windfall of winter bargains, after an autumn of abstinence.”