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Retail

Bad Weather Impacts UK Retail Footfall In February: BRC-ShopperTrak

By Dayeeta Das
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Bad Weather Impacts UK Retail Footfall In February: BRC-ShopperTrak

Retail footfall in the UK declined by 2% year-on-year in February 2020, as multiple storms battered the country, the latest data from BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor has revealed.

This decline is below both the three-month and 12-month average increases of 0.8% and 0.3% respectively.

'Wettest February On Record'

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant at ShopperTrak, said, "Named the wettest February on record, we also had three named storms, which all arrived over weekend trading, and certainly dampened shopper traffic levels.

"Total footfall for the month was down 2% year-on-year nationally, and some communities in the areas particularly affected by storm flooding saw a greater year-on-year decline still; in Wales, for instance, footfall in Cardiff fell 6.4% year-on-year."

High streets witnessed a 2.5% decline in footfall in February compared to the same period last year.

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Footfall in retail parks declined by 1.5% year-on-year during this period, below the 3-month average increase of 0.8% and the 12-month average decline of 1.1%.

'A Slight Boost'

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented, "The decline was less marked for retail parks, which provide easy parking and offer some salvation from the rain.

"There was a slight boost in footfall in the final week, where concerns around coronavirus may have contributed to an increase in store visits."

Shopping centres registered a footfall decline of 7.0% for the month, which was below both the 3-month and 12-month average declines of 5.4% and 4.3% respectively.

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Dickinson added, "With the right investment in our communities, local retail will thrive. All eyes will be on the upcoming business rates review, promised in the Budget, and how effectively it can relieve the business rates burden. This would allow more money to be invested back into people, property and technology."

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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