High Street footfall drops as weather hits retail recovery

FOOTFALL on Britain’s high streets fell by 5.5 per cent in June, hitting hopes that an increase in consumer spending could boost the economic recovery.

Research released today by consumer monitoring firm Springboard blamed rain throughout the month, which has continued into July and is set to wipe out any potential boost from the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

“This was supposed to be the Great British summer but it seems we’re abandoning our towns because of the Great British weather,” said Diane Werhle, research director at Springboard. “We’re calling on people to get out and about in the UK’s weather-proof historic destinations.”

Historic town centres suffered the least, dropping 2.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

But coastal towns were hit hard by the poor conditions, with footfall down 4.4 per cent.

The government recently awarded grants of £100,000 each to rejuvenate the high streets of 12 towns, under the guidance of retail consultant Mary Portas.