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Industry News

Published on December 12th, 2014 | by The GC Team

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Changing shopping habits continue to drive down retail footfall

Retail footfall fell 2.4% in November, despite the numerous discounts and promotions on offer during Black Friday.

Figures released today by the British Retail Consortium show that high street footfall fell 4% on the same month last year and footfall in shopping centres was down 2.1%. Out-of-town, which has experienced growth every month to date in 2014, reported the only rise, 0.8% higher than a year ago.

All regions and countries with the exception of West Midlands (1.5%), East (2.2%) and Scotland (0.9%) reported a decline.

BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson said: “Today’s figures suggest that people are buying more non-food items per shopping trip; likely due to them having researched their potential purchases online or having chosen to click & collect.

“Despite these figures, we know that retail sales for the same period remain strong, and this is not due solely to the increasing popularity of online shopping. Whereas once multiple shopping trips for a few items and leisurely browsing were the norm, now increasingly savvy shoppers are streamlining their visits to stores when making non-food purchases. The most successful shopping destinations are ensuring that they have a range of other experiences and activities on offer to drive up footfall.”

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, commented: “It is particularly disappointing for high streets and shopping centres that the significant price promotions offered over the Black Friday weekend were not sufficient to turn the tide over the month.

“Indeed, it suggests that if retailers are to encourage shoppers back into bricks & mortar stores, then there needs to be a greater focus on the enhancement of the customer experience, rather than a kneejerk reaction towards discounting, which only undermines margins and long term profitability.”

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