UK retail footfall declined by 1.7 percent in September, hit by heavy rain, according to the latest Springboard retail footfall figures, which also revealed that retailers have been facing a sustained drop in footfall for the last 7 years, with the numbers of visitors down over 10 percent.

For the month of September, covering August 25 – September 28, High Street footfall declined by 1.8 percent, following from the decrease of 2.2 percent in September last year, while Retail Park footfall increased by 0.1 percent. In addition, Shopping Centre footfall declined by 3.2 percent, following September 2018’s decline of 2.5 percent.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the British Retail Consortium, said in a statement: “Retailers are facing a sustained drop in footfall, with numbers of visitors down over 10 percent in the last seven years alone. With Brexit looming, many consumers are holding off from all but essential purchases, and it is no surprise that the 1.7 percent drop in footfall has also contributed to a similar fall in sales. High streets and shopping centres were hit hardest with retail parks faring slightly better as they continue to entice shoppers with their varied consumer offering.”

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, added: “Whilst the drop in footfall of -1.7 percent in September was greater than in August, the vast majority of this decline emanated from the last week of the month when footfall was hit by exceptionally heavy rain.

“To provide some context, the decline in footfall of -6.1 percent in that last week of the month was the worst of any week since March/April 2018 when the UK was hit by the Beast from the East. The relatively strong footfall performance in the preceding four weeks, which averaged at -0.7 percent, had been looking reasonably positive and had the last week’s rain not hit the month’s performance, it is likely that footfall for the month would have dropped by less than -1 percent.”


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