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BRC/Springboard data shows decline in high street footfall

Wet weather at the start of Britain’s summer has exacerbated the challenges facing the economy by reducing the number of people visiting the high street, according to new data.

The number of shoppers visiting high streets, shopping centres and out of town retail parks fell 2.3pc in the three months to July 31, the British Retail Consortium and data company Springboard said.

The year-on-year decline is larger than the 2pc recorded in the previous three months. High streets particularly suffered with a 5.5pc fall, while Greater London footfall dropped 8.9pc, Scotland 8.2pc, and the East 7.3pc.

However, despite the fall, rival data suggests consumers still spent during the period and that visitor numbers improved during the Olympics.

The Office for National Statistics said last week that retail sales rose 0.8pc in June and 0.3pc in July, while Springboard said footfall on UK high streets rose 4.7pc in the second week of the Olympics.

Nonetheless, Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, warned that the UK remains a “story of people being short of money, reluctant or unable to spend”.

He added: “There was little sign of a general Jubilee bounce, though the wettest June on record did produce the only month in the quarter when shopping centre footfall rose as people avoided going outside.”

Source : Graham Ruddick – The Telegraph

20 August 2012
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