UK High Street footfall boosted by warm weather

UK High Street footfall saw a welcome boost in June as the beginning of summer brought with it increasingly warmer weather, the latest BRC-Springboard figures show.

Footfall on the High Street rose 0.9 per cent in June, reversing the previous year’s 3.7 per cent decline. This is five basis points above the three month average of 0.4 per cent.

Total footfall was up 0.8 per cent up on a year ago and above the three month average of 0.5 per cent. On a three-month basis, footfall grew 0.5 per cent, a slight reduction against past two months of 0.7 per cent.

Footfall in retail park locations grew by 2.3 per cent in June, compared to a one per cent decrease in June 2016. This comes after a 1.5 per cent rise in May, and is below the three- month average of 2.2 per cent.

However, despite the strong High Street figures, footfall in shopping centres fell by 0.8 per cent. This is at least up on the 2.3 per cent decline seen in June last year and marginally above the three-month average of minus 0.9 per cent.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “The arrival of summer spurred greater shopper footfall in the majority of retail destinations in June. High Streets and retail parks saw solid growth in footfall, as shoppers headed out to renew their wardrobes and purchase other seasonal items. Most parts of the UK benefitted from these sun-fuelled shopping outings, with the east of England especially witnessing brisk growth.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, added: “The uplift in footfall in June, compared with the one per cent drop in May, and its divergence from sales, can be attributed to a number of factors. The weather was far better than in June last year, which encourages consumers to visit bricks and mortar destinations, particularly external environments such as High Streets and retail parks. Also in recent months, we have seen rising footfall in the hours after 5pm, illustrating the trend in consumer behaviour towards leisure trips after retail trading hours.”

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