Mixed results in July footfall figures

Retail Traffic Index for July shows increase in monthly footfall figures but decline in year-on-year figures
The latest Retail Traffic Index shows an increase in footfall compared to June, but a decline year-on-year. (Image: Shutterstock)
// July’s footfall was up by 3.4 per cent when compared to the prior month
// However, on a year-on-year basis July footfall was down 3.8 per cent

UK footfall figures for the month of July were mixed, as a much-needed boost on the back of June’s decline did little to bring footfall into positive territory on a year-on-year basis.

According to the latest Retail Traffic Index, when compared to June, July’s average weekly footfall was up 3.4 per cent – the same uplift for the month as last year.

However, when compared to July last year, last month saw shoppers number decline 3.8 per cent.

This was only a slight improvement on the 3.9 per cent deficit recorded in June.

Ipsos Retail Performance, which compiled the index, said the advent of hot weather during the first week of school holidays hit footfall hard.

Typically the busiest week of the summer, shopper numbers in the last week of July were down by 9.5 per cent year-on-year.

Ipsos said it was likely that the “summer climax” of footfall will be pushed into August.

The index also showed that shops in Scotland and Northern Ireland suffered the most, with weekly footfall in July down 6.5 per cent year-on-year.

The region most out of line with the rest of the country remains London and the South East where the three-month trend languishes at 6.4 per cent decline year-on-year.

This is almost double the 3.3 per cent decline for the UK as a whole.

Ipsos Retail Performance retail intelligence director Dr Tim Denison said July’s figures provided further evidence that footfall in non-food stores was finding its new norm and that traffic online and in store was re-balancing.

“At this time last year, the three-month trend in store footfall was down by 9.1 per cent on the previous year, now it is sitting at just 3.3 per cent,” he said.

“True, we still have overcapacity in the number of retail units in the country and vacancy levels remain at around 10 per cent.

“We also have locations that pull much more footfall than others and estate rationalisation in places is still needed.

“Nevertheless at the top level, it is becoming increasingly evident as the months roll by, that the slide of recent years is now coming to an end, meaning that retailers can begin to plan and invest with confidence in their store strategies.”

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