Footfall falls but spending increases September


Footfall in September was 0.9% down on a year ago, a return to the decline in footfall seen before the 0.1% rise in August.

According to the latest BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor covering the five weeks from August 28 – October 1, on a three-month basis footfall declined by 0.4%.

However, despite the dip in footfall, spending increased by 1.3% in September.

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British Retail Consortium, chief executive, Helen Dickinson comments: “Total footfall was fractionally down this month with almost one per cent fewer people heading out to shopping locations across the UK. While in itself this isn’t the news retailers would hope for, taken with other retail industry data published this month it tells a fascinating story.

“At the same time as both footfall and shop prices have fallen year-on-year, retail spending grew in September by 1.3 per cent. This is a function of the changing face of retail and the hard work and innovation of British retail businesses who are responding brilliantly to technological advances and changing consumer habits.”

High street footfall fell after two months of growth, down 0.5% in September, after of the 1.1% rise in August. This is below the three-month average of 0.2% and is the fifth month high street footfall has fallen this year.

Footfall in retail park locations was broadly flat in September, worse than the 0.4% rise in August, while footfall in shopping centres fell 2.5% in September, a further fall from the 1.9% drop in August. This is below the three-month average of -2.1%.

“The issue for shopping centres could be that many have lacked the investment required to maintain their appeal for shoppers whose standards and expectations have risen,” says Springboard marketing and insights director, Diane Wehrle.

“Moving forward into what should be the most lucrative trading period of the year, despite the challenges of a weaker pound and living wage costs, it is critical that staffing remains strong to deliver the level of customer service required to ensure retail destinations offer a quality customer experience.”


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