October footfall drops to lowest level since Brexit

October footfall

Footfall decreased to its lowest rate since the Brexit referendum in October, mirroring “the month’s paltry sales performance”.

According to new data from Springboard and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), footfall fell two per cent, coming well below the three-month average decline of 1.4 per cent and nudging the post-Brexit referendum 2.3 per cent slump.

The East of England was the only region to see any footfall growth over the period rising one per cent and marking the eleventh quarter of consecutive growth.

High street footfall in the East Midlands dropped 1.5 per cent, slowing from the 2.8 per cent decline seen a month prior, while the East and Wales were the only areas to experience high street growth up 1.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

“Both high streets and shopping centres are clearly under pressure, with footfall during retail trading hours dropping by more than -3 per cent in each,” Springboard’s marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle said.

“And the fact that retail park footfall slipped into negative territory – even during daytime hours – whilst prior to November recording seven consecutive months of growth, is definitive evidence of consumers tightening their purse strings.

“It is also critical not to read too much into the improvement in the vacancy rate to 9.3 per cent, from 9.6 per cent last quarter, as this is a trend that has occurred over the last few years as landlords fill empty stores with temporary lettings in the run up to Christmas.”

The news comes after numerous studies last week revealed October to be the worst month for retail sales in a decade, as the perfect storm of dwindling consumer spend, inflation and business rates batters UK retailers.

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