UK retail footfall down 10% in last seven years
The British Retail Consortium reported on Monday that UK retail footfall had fallen by more than 10.0% over the past seven years, due to high renting prices, a shift towards online shopping and political uncertainty.
In September 2019, UK retail footfall declined by 1.7%, hit by heavy rain, according to the latest Springboard retail footfall figures.
High Street footfall declined by 1.8% (versus a 2.2% decline in September 2018), while Retail Park footfall increased by 0.1%. In addition, Shopping Centre footfall declined by 3.2% (2.5% decline in September 2019).
Bricks and mortar retailers were still struggling to cover the rising costs of maintaining stores open, especially given the decline in sales.
Consumers were also shifting towards online stores for their purchases and being impacted by the political uncertainty around Brexit.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the British Retail Consortium, said in a statement: “Retailers are facing a sustained drop in footfall, with numbers of visitors down over 10 percent in the last seven years alone. With Brexit looming, many consumers are holding off from all but essential purchases, and it is no surprise that the 1.7% in footfall has also contributed to a similar fall in sales.
“High streets and shopping centres were hit hardest with retail parks faring slightly better as they continue to entice shoppers with their varied consumer offering.”
Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, added about September’s fall: “The vast majority of this decline emanated from the last week of the month when footfall was hit by exceptionally heavy rain.
“To provide some context, the decline in footfall of -6.1% in that last week of the month was the worst of any week since March/April 2018 when the UK was hit by the Beast from the East.
“The relatively strong footfall performance in the preceding four weeks, which averaged at -0.7%, had been looking reasonably positive and had the last week’s rain not hit the month’s performance, it is likely that footfall for the month would have dropped by less than -1%.”