June footfall dips despite World Cup spending boost

June footfall

Retail footfall dipped for the seventh month in a row in June as the heatwave deterred consumers from visiting shops, despite a boost in spending prompted by World Cup fever.

The monthly BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor indicated that overall footfall slipped by 0.9 per cent year-on-year.

BRC and Springboard highlighted that June 2017 was a “tough comparable”, as footfall had increased by 0.8 per cent at the time.

However, on a month-on-month basis the latest overall decline was steeper than the one seen in May, when footfall dipped by 0.4 per cent.

The latest footfall figures somewhat undermines the Retail Sales Monitor from BRC and KPMG, which found that the World Cup inspired Brits to open their wallets and spend, with total retail sales in June rising 2.3 per cent year-on-year.

The high street was the only area that delivered positive footfall last month, albeit a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent.

This was the first time since November 2017 that high street footfall had grown for two months running.

BRC and Springboard added that compared to a growth of 0.9 per cent in June 2017, last month’s high street footfall “performed decently”.

However, it was bad news for retail parks and shopping centres.

Retail parks experienced a decline of 0.4 per cent in June against also a tough comparable of 2.3 per cent last year, while shopping centres saw a fall in footfall of 3.4 per cent, a deeper decrease than the 0.8 per cent decline of last year.

“June’s good weather has again resulted in a marginal year-on-year improvement in footfall across the nation’s high streets, delivering the second month of consecutive growth since November 2017,” British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“However, retail parks and shopping centres have had an altogether more difficult time, albeit June 2017 was a tough comparable, and the overall trend of fewer visits to bricks and mortar stores remains.”

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle added: “We are now in the longest period of continued footfall decline since 2015.

“However, with drops of less than one per cent in both May and June the three month rolling average is now -1.5 per cent, the most favourable result since November 2017.

Only four regions saw footfall grow in June, with Northern Ireland coming out on top with 3.6 per cent growth.

This was followed by the West Midlands with 0.8 per cent growth, the North & Yorkshire 0.5 per cent growth, and Wales with an uptick of 0.3 per cent.

The biggest footfall decline was seen in the East Midlands, which recorded a drop of 2.7 per cent.

“Considerable pressure on retail remains but policy makers can help by supporting our call for a two-year freeze in business rate increases to provide some headroom while a reform of the business rates system is carried out,” Dickinson said.

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