July footfall drops 28% on pre-pandemic levels amid turbulent weather

July footfall drops 28% on pre-pandemic levels amid turbulent weather
// Total UK footfall decreased by 28% in July compared to 2019
// Footfall on high streets declined by 34.6%, shopping centre footfall declined 38.4%, and retail parks declined 15%
// England saw the deepest decline at 28.7%, while Northern Ireland had the shallowest decline at 19.9%

Overall retail footfall in July was below pre-pandemic levels, as turbulent weather dampened the mood for much of the month.

According to the latest BRC-Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor, total UK footfall decreased by 28 per cent in July compared to 2019, with a 0.4 percentage point decrease from June.

Footfall on high streets declined by 34.6 per cent for the same month, while shopping centre footfall declined by 38.4 per cent.


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Retail parks were once again the best performers, which only saw footfall decrease by 15 per cent on 2019.

For the third consecutive month, Northern Ireland saw the shallowest footfall decline of all regions, dropping 19.9 per cent, followed by Wales with a decline of 25.8 per cent and Scotland declining 27.1 per cent.

England saw the deepest decline at 28.7 per cent.

“After improvements in footfall in the early part of 2021, the situation has plateaued with little change in footfall levels for a third month in a row,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“The turbulent weather, with initial heatwaves giving over to torrential rain, appears to have dampened the mood for shopping in July, with a particularly pronounced fall in footfall at retail parks.

“However, the last week of July offered a glimmer of hope for retailers as the easing of restrictions lead to the best weekly performance of 2021.

“Retailers hope this trend will continue as the rise of vaccinations and falling coronavirus case numbers boosts consumer confidence.”

She added: “Government and businesses must take the opportunity to build back a better future for our local destinations.

“With the number of empty shopfronts still rising in many parts of the country, it is vital we rebuild our local communities to integrate leisure, retail, services, and homes.

“For this to be successful, government must fulfil their commitment to alleviate the unsustainable cost burden placed on retailers by the broken rates system in their upcoming business rates review.

“This will allow retailers to continue invest in their physical and digital offerings and provide communities with vibrant spaces to visit, work and shop.”

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