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Industry News

Published on October 23rd, 2018 | by The GC Team

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Non-food stores record falling footfall

Figures released for September show that footfall in non-food stores fell by 4.4% compared to the same month last year, while the average weekly visits were 7.1% lower than last month.

Ipsos Retail Performance, the global retail and footfall consultant that compiles the Retail Traffic Index (RTI), said the poor figures were due to consumers remaining in a “holding pattern” while the nation waits for the future political and economic direction to become clearer.

September’s figures left the third quarter sitting on a -6.0% deficit compared to the same period in 2017.

The proportion of stores that saw their conversion rates rise against the same quarter last year fell back to 45.6% from 54.2% in quarter two. General/variety stores struggled the most, with just 28.3% managing to improve their conversion rate.

“As we move into the peak quarter, retailers will be going the extra mile to ring in the sales,” said Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance.

“We expect October to be a slower month, with consumers deferring high-ticket purchases to Black Friday campaigns. Signs of stronger footfall will encourage the boldest retailers to bolster their Christmas orders, but overzealousness could expose them to crippling stock piles after the festive season.

“With all the uncertainties building around Brexit, and the UK’s trade agreements, the months ahead will be defining times for the industry, challenging the acumen of even the very best leadership teams in retailing.”

The Retail Traffic Index is compiled from the number of individual shoppers entering over 4,000 non-food retail stores across the UK.

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