Retail footfall down 0.8% in July
New figures have shown that retail footfall in the UK declined by 0.8% in July following a drop of 0.9% in June.
The figures from Springboard and the British Retail Consortium in their monthly footfall and vacancies monitor reveal that footfall in high streets edged up 0.3% to mark the third consecutive month of growth.
Meanwhile footfall in shopping centres and retail parks both declined with drops of 3.4% and 0.5% respectively.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “The hot, dry weather in July turned consumers’ attentions to eating, drinking and enjoying the outdoors. That provided a small lift for high streets as shoppers popped out to grab food, drink and fans to keep cool. However, the heat sapped shoppers’ stamina for longer trips with both retail parks and shopping centres seeing footfall sink.”
Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, added: In high streets, the very marginal 0.3% decline in footfall during shopping hours and a 1.7% rise post 5pm is indicative of their ability to cater for shoppers’ demands. In contrast, in shopping centres the drop in footfall of 3.9% during retail trading hours was exacerbated by a 0.7% decline post 5pm, driven by a paucity of hospitality offer.”
The West Midlands and Scotland were the only regions to see footfall increase in July with respective uplifts of 1.6% and 0.5%.
The figures also show that the national town centre vacancy rate has remained at the same level since April at 9.2%. With the announcement of store closures made by a number of retailers, but not yet all implemented, most regions saw their vacancy rate stay largely unchanged in the month, but the most improved area was the West Midlands where the vacancy rate dropped to 10.2% from 11.8% in April.
Wehrle said: “Counter-intuitively the vacancy rate improved over the quarter in five geographies, however, this may be accounted for by temporary lets over the summer taking advantage of space released from stores that have already ceased trading.”
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