UK retail footfall fell by 0.4 percent year-on-year in July, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard’s latest figures, following an overall decline of 2.8 percent in June.

The British Retail Consortium-Springboard footfall and vacancies monitor reveals that even though the overall footfall was in decline, the high street footfall did rise slightly to 0.3 percent to mark a second increase in three months. This is only the third time in more than two years that footfall has risen on the high street.

While footfall in retail park locations decreased for the second consecutive month, down 0.3 percent year-on-year, and footfall in shopping centres also saw a 2 percent drop in July, although this was up slightly from the 2.3 percent fall seen in June.

British Retail Consortium chief executive, Helen Dickinson, said: “Today’s figures remain lacklustre with total footfall down again, this month by 0.4 percent. Retailers will have taken comfort from the fact that recent BRC figures show that total sales grew over the same period.

“Given the decline in footfall is slowing and high street locations actually reported an increase in shopper numbers of 0.3 percent, some retailers in some locations may have some reasons to be cheerful.”

The monitor also found that the UK shop vacancy rate rose over the quarter to July by 0.5 percentage points to 10.1 percent, from 9.6 percent in April for the previous quarter. This is the first time since April 2015 the rate has breached the 10 percent mark.

Dickinson added: “The increase in the number of empty shops is an unwelcome reminder of the heavy burden of property costs. After a long run of shop vacancies being below 10 percent, seeing them rise over that threshold once again will be a bitter disappointment to many.”

 

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