The UK footfall rate in August was the lowest since March 2013, against tough Olympic comparisons, as retailers saw the end of the summer season.
A survey by BRC/Springboard Retail Footfall Monitor showed Scotland experienced a 0.3 per cent dip in footfall – which was above the UK average of 0.9 per cent. The North and Yorkshire was the only region to report positive footfall growth – up 0.1 per cent and all other regions and nations recorded a decline in footfall.
The Monitor, which records over 60m footfall counts per week in 227 different shopping sites, found that shopping centres fared less well than high street and retail parks in August, with a 2.2 per cent drop in footfall, a continuation of the trend over the quarter.
“Given the increase in sales in August, the lack of uplift in footfall indicates that the number of customers visiting our retail locations is remaining steady in overall terms but they are spending more. The footfall performance of retail parks clearly reflects the fact that home products were the best performers in sales terms in August, which may well have deflected footfall away from high streets and shopping centres”, said Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard.
She added: “In overall terms, however, the results for August indicate an increasing degree of stability in the performance of retail locations.”
High street footfall fell 0.6 per cent although this compared with a good performance a year ago. Shopping centre footfall remained fragile, down 2.2 per cent but a slight improvement on July’s 2.3 per cent growth.
Fiona Moriarty, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The signs are that confidence is gradually returning in our high streets and town centres. Retailers will be hoping that this tentative momentum starts to build as they start gearing up for their all-important Christmas campaigns.”