June endures deepest decline in footfall for over two years

The Future High Street Summit took place in Nottingham last week with delegates discussing customer engagement.

Footfall in June was 2.8% down on a year ago, reporting the sharpest decline since February 2014.

Covering the five weeks between May 29-July 2, the June 2016 BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor shows footfall was worse than the 0.3% rise in May.  This is significantly above the three-month average rate of – 1.7% and the fifth time in the last eight months’ footfall has declined more than two per cent.

High street footfall declined the most by 3.7%. While this is below the three-month average of -2.5%, footfall on the high street declined by a greater amount in March and April this year.

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Shopping centre and retail park footfall declined by 2.3% and 1.0% respectively. This is the first decline in footfall in retail parks since December 2013 and the deepest decline since November 2013.

“Despite today’s figures showing the deepest decline in footfall since February 2014, the same period has seen UK retail sales rise,” comments BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson. “June has seen many distractions from Euro 2016 to Wimbledon so heading out to the shops seems to have slipped down the priority list for many. In the coming months we all must redouble our efforts to remind customers that now is a great time to get out into their local communities.

“Retailers continue to focus relentlessly on delivering for shoppers day in, day out, and they know that providing a great in-store experience is key to driving up footfall. Although there is a level of uncertainty, it is important that this doesn’t deter us from the shopping and leisure activities we all enjoy. The EU referendum will not have changed the in-store experience for customers and, crucially, the price of goods on the shelves. Now is a great time for shoppers as the summer sales begin in earnest following on from a record 38 months of falling shop prices.”

Footfall deteriorated from a 0.4% rise in the first week of June to a 4.6% drop during the week of the referendum and a 3.4% drop in the weeks following. The report suggest consumer confidence was hit, despite retailers discounting throughout the period in early season sales.

Spring board marketing and insight director, Diane Wehrle adds: “The results are shaped by a political and economic storm against a backdrop of rain downpours and generally inclement weather throughout the whole month.”

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