Footfall slump knocks retailers despite strengthening recovery

RETAIL footfall dipped slightly during May in comparison to the same month in 2013, with London recording a larger than average drop in shopping traffic.

Footfall fell 0.2 per cent across the country, according to the latest data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard – driven down by a 0.9 per cent drop on the high street, and a 1.5 per cent decline for shopping centres.

Though the capital has recovered more quickly from the economic downturn, foot traffic in London fell 1.6 per cent in the year to May. Even using a three-month average between March and May, London footfall slipped by 1.1 per cent, the lowest of any English region.

There was some positive news despite the overall UK drop: the three-month average footfall growth figure for high streets was positive for the first time since last year, nudging to 0.3 per cent in May.

“Retail sales over the period have risen, which points to the continuing impact and popularity of online shopping particularly in non-food categories,” said the BRC’s Helen Dickinson.