Footfall falters again in September

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September footfall

Footfall on the high street declined again in September amid consumer slowdown as shoppers faced pressure on their wallets.

According to Springboard, visits to the UK’s shopping hubs were down by 1.7 per cent overall compared to the same month last year.

High street footfall dropped 2.2 per cent after a mixed summer in which shoppers flocked to stock up on barbecue staples in June but were kept at home by the heat in July and August.

Shopping centre footfall was also down 2.4 per cent, marking the 18th consecutive month of decline.

Retail parks continued to be the only area to attract more visitors, but growth slowed to 0.1 per cent compared to 0.3 per cent in August.

Meanwhile, no region across the UK experienced overall footfall growth in September.

Springboard insight director Diane Wehrle said the latest figures come amid several indicators that consumer spending was under pressure.

“With the growth in non-food online sales in September of 5.4 per cent being the lowest since January and just half what it was in September 2017, combined with the highest level consumer credit for five years, a recent increase in inflation, a 20 per cent drop in new car sales which is the worst since 2008, and the rise in house prices only a half what it was a year ago, all indicators point to the fact that footfall is simply reflecting the underlying constraints on consumer spend generally,” she said.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said that the government should reform the tax system to ease the burden on retailers.

“This month’s footfall figures are yet further demonstration of the increasingly difficult operating environment British retailers are facing,” she said.

“And yet, the country’s largest private sector employer is not seeing any action from government to help.”

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