Autumn rain sees steeper retail footfall decline

High Street

The UK retail footfall decline of 3.2% year on year was steeper than September and both the 3-month and 12-month averages.

Covering the period September 29 to October 26, on the high street, footfall saw a far steeper rate of decline than September, at 4.9%.

It was also steeper than the three-month average decline of 2.8%.

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Additionally, retail park footfall declined for the first time in 5 months, down 0.5%, below the 3-month average of 0.2%.

Shopping centre footfall also declined by 2.4% in October, which was a slight improvement on the 3-month average of 2.6%.

Positively though, the UK Vacancy rate improved to 10.0% in October, from 10.3% in July.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, said: “High streets were hit hardest in October, with the wet and wintery weather putting off many consumers from venturing out to the shops. Weak consumer demand and Brexit uncertainty have both impacted sales in recent months, and this could be further affected by the imminent election campaigning. 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.”

Adding: “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 5% of the economy yet paying 10% of all business taxes and 25% of business rates, it is clear there is room for improvement. The next Government should follow the Treasury Select Committee’s advice and scrap downwards transition, which takes money from retailers and uses it to subsidise other industries.”

Last week, the BRC welcomed a report criticising business rates.

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Tags : brcBritish Retail Consortiumfootfallhigh streetretail
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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