Retail footfall down 1% in May
UK footfall edged down 1% year-on-year in May following a 0.8% fall in April.
Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor show that high streets and shopping centres both reported a decline, with footfall dropping by 1.5% and 2% respectively.
However, footfall in out-of-town locations grew by 1.4% year-on-year, which was an improvement on the 0.5% rise seen in April.
BRC director general, Helen Dickinson, said: “The pace of change in the way we shop shows no sign of slowing. In fact, today’s figures show the rate of decline in shopper numbers on our high streets and in shopping centres has slightly increased. Local government, town centre managers and retailers will need to continue to work together to refine their high street offer and give customers practical, positive reasons to return.”
Regions in England reporting improved footfall included Greater London, the East, and East Midlands with respective increases of 0.8%, 2% and 0.2%. All other regions within England saw declines.
There were also declines in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where footfall dropped by 4.3%, 1.8% and 0.4% respectively.
Dickinson added: “Retail can have a crucial role in delivering the Chancellor’s ambitious northern powerhouse. But with shopper numbers in decline across the north, there is some distance to travel before our contribution will be realised.
“The BRC continues to ask the Chancellor to call time on the current business rates system which is stifling retailers ability to invest. If he takes bold action on rates in his upcoming Budget, a crucial barrier to retailers driving growth in the north and across the rest of the UK, will finally have been removed.”
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