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Industry News August retail sales growth supports consumer optimism

Published on September 3rd, 2020 | by The GC Team

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Footfall decline continues to ease

The last full week of the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme led to the most positive footfall result of any week so far since lockdown, with week-on-week increases in all three shopping destinations and year-on-year declines the most modest since the restrictions on movement began.

This is according to retail data insights firm Springboard, whose latest figures show that UK retail footfall increased by 6% in the week to Saturday 29th August, compared to the previous week, with shopping centres benefitting most, up 9.1%. Retail parks recorded a rise of 5% and high streets benefitted by a 4.8% increase in shopper numbers.

The previous week’s figures from Springboard showed footfall up 4.1% during the week ended 22nd August, compared to a rise of 0.8% in the previous seven-day period. It was the sixteenth consecutive week in which the annual decline had lessened.

While there is still some way to go to catch up on 2019s footfall figures, progress is positive. Year-on-year footfall in the week to 29th August declined by 26.1%, a respectable uplift on the 30.7% decline in the previous week.

“Not only did the week as a whole yield far more positive results those previously, but given the situation we find ourselves in and the much cooler weather this year the Bank Holiday weekend proved to be a remarkable success for retail destinations,” said Diane Wehrle insights director at Springboard.

Shop vacancies, meanwhile, have been rising. Springboard reported that 10.8% of shops were empty in July, up from 9.8% in January this year and the worst rate recorded since January 2014.

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