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Industry News

Published on September 10th, 2018 | by The GC Team

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BRC blames wage squeeze for decline in retail footfall

Retailers experienced a quiet August this year with total footfall down 1.6% year-on-year and high street traffic down 2%.

According to the BRC/Springboard footfall monitor, shopping centres also failed to entice consumers – shopper numbers fell 2.4%. BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said “the continued squeeze on wages kept consumers away from the shops.”

Retail parks, however, recorded a slight gain, up 0.3% year-on-year.  

With fewer shoppers visiting the high street and a difficult overall trading environment, Dickinson said 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,” she commented.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, noted that it was a drop in daytime footfall that drove the decline, -2.7% in high streets and -3.1% in shopping centres. This, she said, reflected the pressure on retailing due to subdued consumer demand.

Total footfall for the three months from June to August fell 1.1% year-on-year.

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