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August retail footfall up 0.1%

UK retail footfall edged up 0.1% year-on-year in August to mark the second rise in four months. The increase follows a 0.4% decline in July.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

August retail footfall up 0.1%

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor show that footfall in high street locations rose by 1.1%, while retail parks experienced a 0.4% increase.

Footfall in shopping centres, however, continued to decline with a 1.9% drop. This was the seventh consecutive month of falling shopper numbers for the sector.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “Driving the overall rise on the high street is an increase in footfall post 5pm, which highlights the growing evening economy based on leisure activities – hospitality, food and beverage trips – and is a result of a markedly improved and expanded offering by shopping destinations. Only in retail parks did footfall during daytime trading hours improve.”

Six of out of ten area across the country saw footfall rise in August, with all reporting growth rates above the overall UK average. Northern Ireland footfall rose 2.5%, while Wales continued to report strong footfall growth, improving on July's rate, rising 1.8%.

The West and East Midlands, North and Yorkshire and South East all witnessed footfall declines.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Although this month’s increase in footfall is only marginal, it is an improvement on last month’s 0.4% decline. It’s also only the third time this year that overall footfall has increased. So, while these figures will give retailers some cheer, they’ll only be cautiously optimistic for the months ahead.”

 

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