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Retail footfall down 6% in March

Retail footfall dropped by 6% year-on-year in March to mark the steepest fall since 2010 as bad weather deterred people from making shopping trips.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail footfall down 6% in March

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor, high streets saw the biggest decline at 8.6% while footfall in shopping centres and retail parks fell by 4.8% and 1.8% respectively.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said: “The severe weather put paid to any glimmer of hope for an uplift in shopper activity in March. Hitting the week following the pay day weekend was the worst timing possible as it meant that shoppers who had available budget deferred trips.”

The figures show that no UK region saw a rise in footfall in the month. The biggest year-on-year declines were seen in Greater London at 7.5%, the South East at 6.5% and the East Midlands at 5.6%.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Whilst the prolonged period of bad weather has had an impact on shoppers visiting the high street, we are seeing a longer term trend of reduced footfall which highlights that shoppers face more choice in terms of how, where and when they shop. The retail environment is changing and retailers are investing in innovation and technology adaptations in response to this.”

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