Retailers kept afloat by high street footfall

FOOTFALL has remained stagnant for retail over the past year, with a negligible 0.1 per cent increase in trade between June 2012 and June this year.

The number of shoppers on the high street rose by 1.4 per cent over the 12-month period, while shopping centres have seen a marked decline with three per cent fewer customers, according to research done by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard. Shopping centres saw a small boost in footfall between May and June, of 1.3 per cent, but not enough to push the annual figures into growth.

However, London stores in general did see an improvement, with a 2.4 per cent increase across the same period. Every other region outside of the capital, except the West Midlands, saw a decline.

  • Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard, offered some explanation as to the differing performance of high streets and shopping centres. “In part, the more favourable performance of high streets can be put down to the fact that they underwent a greater decline in footfall than managed shopping locations in previous years, and so start from a lower base”.
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