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Retail footfall drops across the board with shopping centres hit hardest


​Retail footfall fell by 0.9 per cent across the board in September with shopping centres losing customers at a higher rate than the high street.

The latest BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor results show that shopping centres had a 2.5 per cent decline in footfall in the five weeks to October 1.

High streets across the UK also saw a 0.5 per cent drop in footfall, yet retail parks saw a footfall remain flat as the warm September saw shoppers opt for outdoor destinations.

Wales and south-west England were the only areas to see a rise in shopper numbers, with a rise of 4.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively. 

The West Midlands faired the worst during September, seeing footfall plummet by five per cent.

RELATED: August's footfall increase cautiously welcomed

Spending in the same period grew by 1.3 per cent suggesting a change to shopper habits.

“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,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle added: “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.

“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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Published on Monday 17 October by Ben Stevens

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