Footfall down on UK high streets

The number of shoppers hitting UK high streets in September was down 1.2 per cent compared with the same month last year, according to retail analysts Springboard. Cities fared worse than towns overall as the latter were given a boost by a move towards more local shopping. Excluding cities, footfall was up 1.3 per cent. Diane Wehrle, research director at Springboard, said: “As consumers across the UK prepare for a tough Christmas, many are cutting down on days out and visiting regional city centres less often. On a more positive note, smaller towns are gaining ground as they benefit from a shop local spirit, echoing the Government’s Localism Bill. In times of austerity, shoppers need to cut petrol and parking costs and also want to support their town centre and local businesses.”