// October wet weather has affected footfall numbers on the high street
// Retail footfall in non-food stores fell by 6.2% in October
// Shopper numbers slipped during the month of October by 3.2% year-on-year
Wet weather and Brexit uncertainty caused footfall on the UK’s high streets to decline in October, new research has found.
The latest figures from the BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor showed that retail footfall in non-food stores fell by 6.2 per cent in October compared to the same month of the previous year.
Shopper numbers slipped during the month of October by 3.2 per cent year-on-year.
Footfall declined across the high street, retail parks and shopping centres.
High street footfall fell 4.9 per cent, at a steeper rate of decline than in September and above the three-month average decline of 2.8 per cent, while shopping centre footfall fell 2.4 per cent in October, although this was an improvement on the 2.6 per cent decline across a three-month average.
Meanwhile, retail parks also experienced a decline in footfall, down by 0.5 per cent.
“High streets were hit hardest in October, with the wet and wintery weather putting off many consumers from venturing out to the shops,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“Weak consumer demand and Brexit uncertainty have both impacted sales in recent months, and this could be further affected by the imminent election campaigning,” she said.
“Nonetheless, retailers will be hoping for footfall to pick up as they enter the all-important Golden Quarter. There is some cause for optimism, with the vacancy rate decreasing slightly, buoyed by strong results in London which saw vacancies fall by almost a third.
“The election offers an opportunity for a future government to outline how it would support an industry that pays over £17 billion in tax every year and employs over three million people. With retail accounting for five per cent of the economy yet paying 10 per cent of all business taxes and 25 per cent of business rates, it is clear there is room for improvement.”