Insight: retail footfall down 0.5% in February
Retail footfall in the UK edged down 0.5% year-on-year in February to mirror flat consumer spending according to new figures.
The data from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor shows that footfall in shopping centres dropped by 0.9% while high streets saw a 1.2% decline.
Meanwhile, footfall in retail parks rose by 1.4%.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Footfall continued to fall year-on-year in February across most retail destinations, even before the significant impact of the snow over the last two weeks. This was mirrored in relatively flat consumer spending overall, that continues to struggle against the current retail headwinds.
“Retail parks fared better with footfall rising above the three-month average. These locations are typically home to furniture retailers whose offer of credit options paid off by enticing shoppers and boosting sales. “
Half of the regions in the UK saw growth in February, the most notable being Northern Ireland which grew by 0.3%, thereby ending eight months of consecutive decline. The East Midlands saw footfall grow by 2.1% while the East saw an uplift of 0.7%.
Meanwhile, Greater London and the South East experienced respective declines of 1.1% and 1% in February.
Dickinson added: “Looking ahead, there’s some hope that shopper activity will pick-up now that inflationary pressure has started to subside and wage growth is expected to move in the right direction. But this will offer only modest relief to retailers and consumers and the recent sad news announcing the closures of several well-known high street retailers should sharpen our focus to what is going on in retail in the UK at present.”
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