Footfall rises 0.8% in July
Retail footfall rose 0.8% year-on-year in July to mark the fourth month of positive footfall growth since the start of the year according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium.
The BRC/Springboard Footfall Vacancies Monitor found that high streets reported the biggest rise in footfall in the month, up 2.3%, followed by out-of-town locations where there was growth of 0.9%. However, footfall in shopping centres fell 2.3% which was an improvement on June's 3% decline.
The figures show that the national town centre shop vacancy rate in the UK was 11.1% in July, down from April's high of 11.9%.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson, said: "It's encouraging to see that the number of empty shops in the UK has fallen marginally since the record high of the previous quarter. But it's still a stark statistic, which masks widespread variations - six parts of the UK had above average vacancy rates.
"There's a little more cause for cheer on the footfall front, with the fourth positive result for high streets since the start of the year driving a decent increase overall.
"Taken together, these figures paint a mixed picture which further fuels our call this week for long term reform of business rates to help town centres across the UK. We've seen some cause for cautious optimism since the start of the year, but the path to recovery remains fragile. Bringing business rates into line with how town centres operate in the 21st century is a surefire way of offering retailers more certainty and scope to invest."
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