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Insight: retail footfall down 1.1% in July

Retail footfall in the UK dropped by 1.1% year-on-year in July as the high street footfall growth seen in recent months faltered.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Insight: retail footfall down 1.1% in July

Retail footfall in the UK dropped by 1.1% year-on-year in July as the high street footfall growth seen in recent months faltered.

The figures from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor show that high street footfall declined by 2.1% while shopping centres experienced a 1.3% fall.

Retail parks were the only destinations to see an increase with an uplift of 1.7%.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Most shopping destinations saw a decline in footfall in July compared with the previous year. Even high streets, which have seen fairly stable growth over recent months, reported a decline. Retail parks were the exception and have fared relatively well since March this year reflecting in part lower rental costs compared to prime and town centre locations as well as convenience for shoppers.”

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said July’s results might well mark a sea change in consumers’ willingness to spend, as it was the first time since January that footfall dropped during both retail trading hours and into the evening.

She added: “Over the last few months the growing importance of the leisure based trip has become a key part of the narrative when talking about retail destinations, but a -0.5% drop in footfall post 5pm in July is the first evidence of a tightening of purse strings on casual dining and leisure trips.”

Looking at the regional picture, the East and South East were the only regions to see footfall increase in July. The fastest growth was in the East which has now seen eight months of consecutive footfall growth.

The steepest drops were in the South West and Greater London which both experienced falls of 2.1%.

During the month, Wales showed the first decline in seven months at 0.9% while Scotland saw a further drop from 0.2% in June to 0.4%.

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