Footfall drops but shoppers keep spending

Billy Bambrough
Follow Billy
Shopping centres are struggling to attract customers, with footfall dropping again in September
Shopping centres are struggling to attract customers, with footfall dropping again in September (Source: Getty)

Spending on the high street rose last month despite a decline in footfall, the latest data has shown.

Retail spending grew in September by 1.3 per cent, while at the same time both footfall and shop prices have dropped year-on-year, according to figures released today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and retail analysts Springboard.

Total footfall in September was 0.9 per cent down on a year ago, a return to the decline in footfall seen before the 0.1 per cent rise in August.

Read more: Consumer spending bounces back in September - Visa

On the high street footfall fell after two months of growth, down 0.5 per cent in September, after a 1.1 per cent rise in August.

This is below the three-month average rise of 0.2 per cent and is the fifth month high street footfall has fallen this year.

Footfall in shopping centres fell 2.5 per cent in September, a further fall from the 1.9 per cent drop in August.

“While the very warm and sunny weather will have drawn consumers to high streets in September, resulting in a greater drop in shopping centre footfall of 2.5 per cent, this is not just a one off result as shopping centre footfall has dropped by 1.8 per cent for the year to date compared with – 1.4 per cent in high streets and a rise of 1.2 per cent in retail parks,” said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard.

Read more: Summer sun and price cuts drive best quarter for food sales since 2013

“The issue for shopping centres could be that many have lacked the investment required to maintain their appeal for shoppers whose standards and expectations have risen.”

Recent data has suggested tourists in the UK are spending more as they cash in on a weak pound to snap up British goods at knock-down prices.

Related articles