Monday 14 October 2019 1:00 am

Retail footfall down 10 per cent in seven years amid high street troubles

The number of shoppers on the high street has dropped by 10 per cent over the last seven years, according to new data which underlines the current challenges facing physical retailers.

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According to a new report from Springboard and the British Retail Consortium, retail footfall has decreased by a tenth since 2012.

On a three-month basis footfall decreased by -1.6 per cent, compared with the six and twelve–month averages of -2 per cent and -1.7 per cent respectively.

Exceptionally heavy rain last month meant that the 1.7 per cent drop in footfall in September was greater than it was during August.

High street and shopping centre stores have been struggling to turn a profit in recent years amid a difficult cocktail of rising costs, intense competition and economic uncertainty.

“Given the monumental changes that have occurred in our retail trading landscape over the past decade, it is unsurprising that the long-term footfall trend is a downward one,” said Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director.

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She added: However, with 80 per cent of spend remaining in store there is still much for bricks and mortar stores to play for in quarter of 2019, which of course includes the all-important festive trading period.”

BRC boss Helen Dickinson said: “With Brexit looming, many consumers are holding off from all but essential purchases, and it is no surprise that the 1.7 per cent drop in footfall has also contributed to a similar fall in sales. High streets and shopping centres were hit hardest with retail parks faring slightly better as they continue to entice shoppers with their varied consumer offering.”