‘Biggest footfall drop for five years’ reported last month

Footfall on UK high streets fell by 2% in February compared to the same time last year which saw just a 0.2% decline.

This marks the fifteenth month of consecutive decline and the weakest February in five years.

British Retail Consortium chief executive officer, Helen Dickinson, said that consumers have been cautious in their spending, leading to the largest drop in February footfall for five years.

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She said: “These figures echo the month’s poor retail sales figures, which saw weak growth, particularly in bricks-and-mortar stores.

“While real incomes have been rising over the last year, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit appears to be driving a needs-not-wants approach to shopping.”

Retail parks experienced a 0.8% dip in footfall, a sharp decline on last year when it grew by 1.4%. The East Midlands and Wales however reported notable growth in this shopping location of 3% and 1.4%, respectively.

Elsewhere, shopping centre footfall decreased by 3.4%, a deeper decline than last year’s fall of 0.9%. No region experienced growth in this shopping location throughout February.

Springboard marketing and insights director, Diane Wehrle, said: “Things could get a lot worse unless the government is able to avoid a calamitous no deal Brexit.

“Such a scenario would likely result in higher costs, higher prices and less choice for consumers – all of which would further harm struggling retailers.

“The government must act to protect both consumers and retailers by ensuring there is no chance of a no deal Brexit.”

Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Tags : brexitfootfallhigh streetretail
Joe Peskett

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