Retail footfall down 0.4% in July
UK retail footfall fell by 0.4% year-on-year in July following a 2.8% decline in June.
The figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their latest footfall monitor reveal that high street footfall edged up 0.3% to mark a second increase in three months.
Footfall in retail park locations decreased for the second consecutive month and was down 0.3% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, footfall in shopping centres continued to decline with a 2% drop in July although this was up on the 2.3% fall seen in June.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Today’s figures remain lacklustre with total footfall down again, this month by 0.4%. Retailers will have taken comfort from the fact that recent BRC figures show that total sales grew over the same period. Given the decline in footfall is slowing and High Street locations actually reported an increase in shopper numbers of 0.3%, some retailers in some locations may have some reasons to be cheerful.”
The monitor also found that the UK shop vacancy rate rose over the quarter to July by 0.5 percentage points to 10.1%, from 9.6% in April for the previous quarter. This is the highest vacancy rate shown in the monitor since April 2015, after which time the rate remained below 10%.
Dickinson added: “The increase in the number of empty shops is an unwelcome reminder of the heavy burden of property costs. After a long run of shop vacancies being below 10%, seeing them rise over that threshold once again will be a bitter disappointment to many.”
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