'Stay away' continues for UK shoppers
Figures published by Synovates Retail Traffic Index (RTI), the retail footfall barometer, has found that 4.4% fewer shopping trips were made to non-food stores in June compared to the same month in 2010.
Month-on-month, retail traffic grew by 4.9% on May. In Q2 footfall was down by 3.7% year-on-year, a slight improvement on the 4.6% deficit recorded in Q1.
Synovate said that despite the fact that retailers had started their summer sales earlier this year, footfall was still disappointingly low. Dr Tim Denison, director at Synovate Retail Performance commented: “You could point to the usual summer excuses such as poorer weather conditions, but we cannot escape from the fact that underlying footfall is running at four points below last year.”
Denison said the retail sector was in a vulnerable position going into the next quarter as consumers seemed to only go shopping when there was a good reason to do so. With the only events left in the summer calendar being the ‘back-to-school’ campaign and the August bank holiday, he said it was difficult to see where any stimulous for shopping would come from. “This means that retailers have little room to manoeuvre other than to continue to promote within their means to keep the tills ringing,” said Dennison.
Synovate said it expected its UK RTI to remain 4-5% points down on 2010 over Q3. However, in London and the South East the figure was likely to be higher than the rest of the country as footfall there had steadily come back against 2010 levels, recovering to +2% in Q2.
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