Summer slump for high street footfall across UK
Footfall across the UK declined by 2.9% in June, compared to the same point last year when it declined by 0.9%, says new figures by BRC.
According to BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor for June 2019, poor footfall this June led to a significant fall in the sales figures for the month.
On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 2.4%. The six and twelve–month averages are at -1.3% and -1.7% respectively.
High streets were worst hit by the relatively poor June weather, with shopping centres also performing badly. Footfall declined by 4.5%. Following the increase of 0.1% in June last year. The three-month average decline is 3.5%.
However, retail parks managed to buck the trend. Last year’s World Cup and glorious sunshine set a high bar, which 2019’s slow consumer spending and Brexit uncertainty failed to live up to.
The report says retail park footfall increased by 0.1%, following from June 2018 when footfall decreased by 0.4%. The three-month average growth is 0.5%. Also, the shopping centre footfall declined by 2.4%, following June 2018’s decline of 3.4%. The three-month average decline was 2.7%.
The report calls on high street retailers across the country to invest in improving their consumer experience if they wish to see these footfall numbers reverse. Unfortunately, high business rates, as well as a raft of other public policy costs, mean there is little left over to spend on these improvements. If the government wants to see more investment on the high street, then they must reform the broken business rates system and give firms the means to make the necessary improvements.