Retailers can breath a sigh of relief as UK footfall rises after two month decline

Kathryn Gaw
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Shoppers are gradually returning to the shops (Source: Getty)

Shoppers are finally returning to UK stores, as footfall figures rose in August, following two months of losses.

According to a new report, UK footfall in August was up 0.1 per cent on the previous year, after falling by 0.4 per cent in July. Meanwhile High Street footfall rose for the second consecutive month, with a boost of 1.1 per cent year on year, following July’s increase of 0.3 per cent.

Retail parks proved particularly popular with shoppers, with a rise of 0.4 per cent year-on-year, while footfall in shopping centres fell by 1.9 per cent over the same period.

“The modest uplift in August’s high street footfall is heartening news for retailers following two months of consecutive footfall decline in June and July and compared to the drop of 1.6 per cent in August 2015,” said Diane Wehrle, director of Springboard Marketing and Insights, which produced the report.

“Driving the overall rise on the high street is an increase in footfall post 5pm, which highlights the growing evening economy based on leisure activities – hospitality, food and beverage trips – and is a result of a markedly improved and expanded offering by shopping destinations.”

Wehrle added that an influx of tourists and the enduring popularity of the staycation meant that there were more potential consumers in the UK during the month of August. Although footfall was down by 2.2 per cent in coastal towns, this was an improvement on the previous year, when it was -4.4 per cent.

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