Footfall dips by 0.8% in April
UK retail footfall fell by 0.8% year-on-year in April following a 0.2% rise in March.
Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor show that both high streets and shopping centres reported declines, with falls of 0.1% and 3% respectively. Meanwhile, footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 0.5% increase year-on-year, but this was the lowest figure since September 2014.
The national town centre vacancy rate fell to 10.2% in April from 10.4% in January.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “This month’s figures follow a similar pattern to the long term trend – footfall on the high street and in shopping centres is down slightly and out-of-town destinations have seen an increase in shopper numbers, but only a slight one. This is despite prices continuing to tumble and consumer confidence climbing.
“The stubbornness of the footfall figures may be explained by the similar obstinacy in the vacancy rate figure. Since the BRC started collecting these figures shop vacancy rates have never fallen below 10%. We’ve long argued that vacant units put shoppers off visiting an area and the long term trend in these numbers bear that out.”
Looking at the regions in England, London and the East reported respective increases of 1.1% and 1.9%. Meanwhile, the West Midlands, East Midlands, South West, South East, and North and Yorkshire all reported declines.
Scotland and Northern Ireland saw footfall increases of 1.1% and 1.2% respectively. Footfall in Wales was 3.6% down in the month.
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