Footfall remains lower than pre-pandemic levels

UK footfall dropped by 18 per cent in August compared to the same period of 2019, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC.)

However, the number of UK shoppers increased by 10 per cent in comparison to July.

Overall, footfall was above the three-month average decline of 24.6 per cent.

Footfall on the High Street declined by 24.8 per cent last month when compared to pre-pandemic levels but was 9.8 per cent higher than in July.

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by a marginal 1.6 per cent, increasing by 13.4 per cent compared to last month’s rate and the three-month average decline of 10 per cent.

Shopping centres suffered the biggest decline in August, with footfall dropping by 32.9 per cent compared to the same month two years ago, before the advent of the pandemic.

But footfall was above the 12-week average decline of 36.6 per cent and saw a slight improvement of 5.5 per cent compared to July.

“Following months of little improvement, August footfall was a tentative step in the right direction,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive, BRC. “There were minor improvements with the return of some workers to the office and domestic tourism through August, however overall footfall remained significantly down compared to the pre-pandemic peak.”

Dickinson urged the government to deliver on its commitment to reduce the burden of the business rates.

She claimed the tax it is hindering retailers’ ability to invest and create jobs and is “leading to store closures across the country.”

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