UK High Street footfall continues to decline

UK High Street footfall has continued to decline, with August showing a 2.6 per cent drop in numbers, according to the latest BRC-Springboard figures.

Overall footfall fell 1.2 per cent in August against the previous year. This is also below the three-month and 12-month rolling average of -0.4 per cent and -0.3 per cent respectively.

The drop in High Street footfall is greater than the 2.1 per cent decline seen in July. However, in contrast, retail parks continued their recent trend of positive growth with footfall increasing by by 1.6 per cent in August, slightly down on July’s 1.7 per cent rise.

The East, South East and Wales were the three regions that saw footfall growth in August, with the fastest growth in the East, which has now seen nine months of consecutive footfall growth.

Overall the steepest decline in footfall in August occurred in Greater London (2 per cent) and Northern Ireland (2.3 per cent).

Helen Dickinson, chief-executive of the BRC, said: “The story for UK shopper footfall in August unfortunately remains much the same as before, with most shopping locations seeing a year-on-year decline. Indeed footfall sagged last month at a more pronounced rate than that witnessed over the past quarter as a whole. Retail parks once again bucked the trend, with shoppers attracted by the convenience of a one-stop shop for purchases, services and leisure activities.

"Encouraging shoppers back to more of our town centres is crucial to reducing the high number of vacant premises and the increasing gap between the vibrant and in-demand areas and those at the much more economically fragile end of the spectrum. The increasing number of locations falling further and further behind continues to grow.”

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