UK high street footfall falls 10% in last 7 years

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high street footfall shopping centres
Last month, retail footfall dropped by 1.7 per cent
// Footfall in shopping centres fell by 3.2% in September
// Footfall in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres has declined by 10% in the last 7 years

The number of shoppers heading to UK high streets, retail parks and shopping centres has declined by 10 per cent in the last seven years, new research has shown.

It illustrates the difficulties retailers face in the midst of adapting to changing consumer trends, as well as keeping up with increases in wages and business rates.

Last month, retail footfall dropped by 1.7 per cent, the same as last year, according to the BRC and Springboard.


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Shopping centres saw footfall decline by 3.2 per cent, followed by high streets at 1.8 per cent.

“Retailers are facing a sustained drop in footfall, with numbers of visitors down over 10 per cent in the last seven years alone,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

“With Brexit looming, many consumers are holding off from all but essential purchases.”

She added:m “The ongoing transformation of the retail industry is putting increasing pressure on retailers, which is now compounded by the spectre of a no deal Brexit on October 31.

“If the government wants to support consumers and retailers, they should make sure they take no-deal off the table, while also addressing the public policy costs such as business rates, that prevent shops from investing in their retail offering.”

Meanwhile, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer are some of the major retailers to have announced store closure plans.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “Given the monumental changes that have occurred in our retail trading landscape over the past decade, it is unsurprising that the long-term footfall trend is a downward one.

“However, with 80 per cent of spend remaining in-store there is still much for bricks and mortar stores to play for in the fourth quarter of 2019, which of course includes the all-important festive trading period.”

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