Retail footfall down 1.6% in August
New figures have revealed that UK retail footfall dropped by 1.6% year-on-year in August. The decline followed a 0.8% fall in July.
The data from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard shows that high street footfall declined by 2% after three months of growth. Meanwhile footfall was down 2.4% in shopping centres, which was an improvement on the 3.4% fall in July, but edged up 0.3% in retail parks.
The only region recording an uplift in August was Northern Ireland where footfall rose by 0.5%.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The drop in footfall of 1.6% in August is the worst result since April. Given the sweltering temperatures during what has been the hottest summer on record, it is not surprising that visits to shopping destinations declined further as consumers made the most of the weather elsewhere.”
The figures show that retail parks achieved a strong performance in all regions except the North and Yorkshire, East Midlands and London. The East and South West showed the fastest growth in the category at 5.1% and 4% respectively.
August marked the 17th month of consecutive decline for shopping centres with no regions experiencing growth.
Meanwhile Northern Ireland was the only region to see a rise in high street footfall with an uplift of 1.4%.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “With fewer shoppers visiting the high street and a difficult overall trading environment the pressure is increasing on retailers as rising public policy costs continue to bite.
“The Government must take action now and commit to a two year freeze on business rates to help reduce the pressure of this disproportionate tax on retailers and allow for a fundamental reform of the business taxation system.”
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