UK Retail Footfall Declines In June, High Streets Worst Hit: BRC-Springboard
Retail footfall in the UK declined 2.9% year on year in the five weeks to 29 June, the latest data from the BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor has revealed.
Footfall decreased by 2.4% on a three-month basis, and the six and twelve-month averages dropped 1.3% and 1.7% respectively.
Springboard Marketing and Insights Director, Diane Wehrle, commented, "In reality, the drop in footfall of -1.4% for the year to date is still an improvement on the drop of -2.1% over the same period last year, so in context footfall performance has shown more resilience over the year to date than expected."
High streets were the worst hit, registering a 4.5% decline in footfall, from a 0.1% increase in the same period last year.
On a three-month basis, the average decline recorded was 3.5%.
According to BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson, poor weather in June and slow consumer spending due to concerns over Brexit were the main reasons behind this decline.
Wehrle added that footfall was much more resilient in regional cities, which registered a marginal decline of 0.6%.
Shopping centres saw a footfall decline of 2.4%, a comparatively better figure than the 3.4% fall registered in June 2018. The three-month average decline was 2.7%.
Dickinson added, "High streets and shopping centres across the country need to invest in improving their consumer experience if they wish to see these footfall numbers reverse. Unfortunately, high business rates, as well as a raft of other public policy costs, mean there is little left over to spend on these improvements.
"If the Government wants to see more investment in the high street then they must reform the broken business rates system and give firms the means to make the necessary improvements,” she explained.
A Marginal Increase
Retail parks witnessed a marginal increase in footfall of 0.1% during the period compared with June 2018, when it dropped 0.4%.
On a three-month basis, footfall increased by 0.5%.
Wehrle added that the decline in footfall in large shopping centres was only 0.5%, while it was just 0.1% in those with a strong dining offer.
"So it is clear that consumer demand is polarised between convenience and accessibility [in] retail parks and the craving for experience, driving [consumers] towards larger retail destinations," she said.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.