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Published on October 17th, 2016 | by The GC Team

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Retail footfall declines but shoppers still spending on big-ticket items

Retail footfall edged down 0.9% in September, following a 0.1% rise in August.

According to the British Retail Consortium, high street footfall fell after two months of growth, down 0.5% after a 1.1% rise in August. The figure is below the 3-month average of 0.2% and represents the fifth month that high street footfall has fallen this year.

Footfall in retail park locations was broadly flat in September, while in shopping centres a 2.5% fall was recorded, a further decline on the 1.9% drop seen in August.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said that while this isn’t the news retailers would hope for, taken with other retail industry data published this month it tells a “fascinating story.”

Both footfall and shop prices have fallen year on year, yet retail spending grew in September by 1.3%.

“This is a function of the changing face of retail and the hard work and innovation of British retail businesses, which are responding brilliantly to technological advances and changing consumer habits.”

Alex Marsh, Managing Director of Close Brothers Retail Finance, commented: “Today’s figures showing footfall on the high street has slumped may worry many retailers who are already concerned with the long-term impact that Brexit may have on consumer confidence.

“Positively though, UK retail spending grew last month and it appears consumers have not been put off buying big-ticket items. Our data shows 4% growth since last month in the average big-ticket item spend, indicating that consumers are not holding back.”

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Get Connected is the top trade journal for the UK electricals industry. Its website is the fastest, most interesting and up to date in the business.



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