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Retail footfall down 1.1% in February

Monday March 14th 2016

UK retail footfall fell by 1.1% year-on-year in February following a 1.2% increase in January.

The figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor show that both high streets and shopping centres experienced a decline in February, with footfall dropping by 2.9% and 0.6% respectively.

Meanwhile, footfall in retail park locations rose by 2.5% which was down from January’s increase of 5.2%.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “While footfall last month eased down a touch in both year-on-year and three-month totals, these relatively tepid figures do not fully reflect the changing nature of retail as an industry. Retailers are competing with each other harder than ever. The business of retailing is increasingly complex as technology continues to drive changes in the way we shop.”

The BRC and Springboard said visits to retail locations are becoming increasingly focused out of town and in the early evening, with footfall after 5pm rising since January 2014 whilst dropping during the daytime period.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “A closer look at high street footfall in February reveals a 0.2% uplift during the early evening period, whilst footfall during daytime hours dropped by 3.9%, a strong indicator that visits to retail destinations are becoming about more than just retail.

“All indicators are pointing to the need for retail to harness this momentum and encourage convergence – blending of offer and opportunity – and position it equally alongside the three retail necessities of choice, customer service and convenience.”

The South West and Greater London were the only regions to report a rise in footfall with respective increases of 0.4% and 0.2%.