April weather dampens footfall amid record decline on the high street

Bricks and mortar retailers across the country have been dealt another tough hand as footfall continues to plummet.

According to the latest BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, footfall in April decreased by 3.3% in April 2018, compared to the same period last year.

The footfall slump, which has been, in part, attributed to high rainfall at the beginning of the month, follows on from a 6% drop in March. The rate of decline across the UK’s high streets over March and April 2018 is the largest since 2009’s recession.

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Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “Not since the depths of recession in 2009, has footfall over March and April declined to such a degree, and even then the drop was less severe at -3.8%.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of British Retail Consortium, added: “A wet start to April had a dampening effect on visits across the UK’s shopping locations adding to the long term downward in footfall resulting from changing consumer behaviour.

“That shift in the way we shop, coupled with a highly challenging business environment, is having a significant impact on the nation’s high streets: in April nearly 1 in 10 shops in town centres was vacant.”

In the last two weeks footfall did recover however, averaging +1.5% assisted by improved weather.

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