UK retail footfall down 14%

Retail footfall across the UK dropped by 14 per cent last month compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The number of people on British High Streets, retail parks, and shopping centres was nearly four per cent lower than figures recorded in June, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Footfall on UK High Streets was down by around 16 per cent in July, two per cent worse than the previous month.

Retail parks saw the number of consumers drop by nine per cent, one per cent worse than in June.

The most impacted was shopping centres, which saw footfall decline by around 25 per cent compared to 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.

“Following four months of steady progress, UK footfall stalled in July as record temperatures and the rising cost-of-living deterred people from visiting local shops,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive, BRC. “There was some respite in the last week of July, ahead of the Women’s Euros finals, as people stocked up on food and drink to watch the Lionesses bring footfall home.

"Meanwhile, footfall in Northern Ireland bucked the UK trend and improved slightly on the previous month.”

The chief exec said that a new prime minister offers a new opportunity for the Conservative party to meet its 2019 pledge for fundamental reform of the "broken" business rates system.

She called on the government to scrap the ‘downwards phasing’ part of Transitional Relief – describing it as a "flawed system" that prevent retailers paying what they owe, and instead would force them to overpay more than £1 billion between 2023 and 2026.

Dickinson continued: "This money could be better used to help limit price rises for customers, curb the rising cost-of-living and invest in the vitality of towns and cities around the country."

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