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Industry News December footfall reflects changing shopping habits

Published on June 15th, 2015 | by The GC Team

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Retail footfall falls 1% in May

Retail footfall dipped again in May, despite bank holiday weekends raising hopes of a better performance for the UK’s high streets.

Overall footfall fell 1.0% on last May, according to the BRC/Springboard monthly footfall monitor, following a 0.8% fall in April this year.

High streets and shopping centres both reported a decline, down 1.5% and 2.0% respectively, while out-of-town showed a 1.4% increase year-on-year, an improvement on the 0.5% rise in April and a continuation of its positive trend.

Only three UK regions reported positive footfall growth, with the greatest rises seen in the East and Greater London.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales recorded declines of 1.8%, 0.4% and 4.3% respectively.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “The pace of change in the way we shop shows no sign of slowing. In fact, today’s figures show the rate of decline in shopper numbers on our high streets and in shopping centres has slightly increased. Local government, town centre managers and retailers will need to continue to work together to refine their high street offer and give customers practical, positive reasons to return.

“It’s vital that central government plays its part too. Retail can have a crucial role in delivering the Chancellor’s ambitious northern powerhouse. But with shopper numbers in decline across the north, there is some distance to travel before our contribution will be realised.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said retail parks are clearly the winners in the fight for consumers across bricks & mortar retail destinations. “The success of retail parks is undoubtedly a function of owner-driven change that has led to the introduction of a family based leisure offer in many out-of-town locations that previously fulfilled a purely functional role.

“This, in combination with plentiful and free car parking, has enhanced the attraction of retail parks and improved their efficiency as click & collect locations for the ever increasing number of omni-channel shoppers.

“The high cost of parking in high streets and shopping centres, together with elongated travel times due to congestion, means that urban destinations are at an obvious and increasing disadvantage.”

 

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