Sunday, December 17, 2017

Footfall declines in every UK region, says BRC/Springboard

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Every UK region posted a decrease in February footfall as the high-street continued to be hit by the popularity of out-of-town and online shopping.

It was the worst result for the high-street since its 7 per cent drop in March 2013, said the BRC/Springboard footfall monitor.

The BRC said the dip underlined the importance of business rates reform.

All regions and countries with the exception of Greater London (-2.0 per cent), East Midlands (-2.2 per cent) and North & Yorkshire (-2.3 per cent) reported footfall above the UK average of -2.9 per cent. Footfall in Wales fell by the greatest amount (8.8 per cent.)

Footfall in out-of-town locations rose 2.3 per cent which represented a slow down from last months 5.7 per cent surge.

“The high street has seen the most challenging conditions,” commented Helen Dickinson, BRC General.

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said the more accessible parking at “star” out of town locations meant that footfall rose by 2.3 per cent.

The current business rate system was branded “an ancient tax” by former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy this month which “has not worked for years.”