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Published on September 9th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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Declining footfall a “long-term trend”

“Retail footfall continued its downward trajectory in August, with high streets and shopping centres most affected.

According to the BRC/Springboard monthly analysis, overall footfall numbers fell 1.3% year-on-year, with high streets down 1.9% and shopping centres down 2.2%. Retail parks were the only destination to increase visitor numbers, recording a 1% rise on the same month last year.

British Retail Consortium Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said: “The long-term trend, which has seen footfall decline by an average of 1.7% over the last twelve months, reflects the fact that increasingly cautious consumers are holding back on discretionary spending and not heading out to the shops.”

And there is little sign that the stresses on retail will abate any time soon, Dickinson maintains.

“Stuck between weak demand thanks to Brexit uncertainty, and rising costs resulting from business rates and other public policy costs, many retailers are clearly struggling.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said declining sales and a drop in footfall in the face of weak consumer confidence wasn’t unexpected in August. 

“We must remember that declining footfall is a long-term trend with annual increases being the exception rather than the rule.”

Wehrle added that footfall has declined every year since Springboard started publishing its national data in January 2009.

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