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Published on November 12th, 2018 | by The GC Team


October footfall disappoints

Retail footfall declined for the 11th consecutive month in October, falling by 2.0% on the previous year following a drop of 1.7% in September 2018.

Figures from the BRC and Springboard show high street footfall down 2.3% – three months of consecutive weakening for this shopping location. At -0.2%, retail parks slipped back after two months of positive growth, while shopping centres saw the decline in footfall deepen to 3.3% from 2.5% in September, representing 19 consecutive months of deterioration.

The national town centre vacancy rate increased year-on-year in October, rising from 9.3% to 9.6%.

BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said the weakening trend is primarily driven by a move from in-store to online purchases.

“With retail becoming more digital, physical shopping locations are working to reinvent themselves as places people go for days out rather than just for day-to-day purchases.

“Nonetheless, the vacancy rate is at a 15-month high, with many brands disappearing from the high street and many more struggling under the cumulative burden of public policy costs.

“The Government’s recent Budget missed the opportunity to halt the rising cost of business rates for firms employing the majority of the UK’s 3.1 million retail workers.”

Springboard Marketing and Insights Director Diane Wehrle commented: “The rate of decline in October was a fifth greater than the -1.7% drop in September, demonstrating that consumer demand is continuing to weaken, which, as we head into the key trading period of the year, suggests that Christmas could be challenging.”

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