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BRC: Footfall Slowed During June Heatwave

Blurred shoppers summer spring Shutterstock 1184182105

The BRC and Sensormatic IQ have published retail footfall data for June. 

Key points:

  • Total UK footfall decreased by -1.9% in June (YoY), up from -2.8% in May. This is worse than the 3-month average increase of -1.1%.

  • High Street footfall increased by 0.6% in June (YoY), up from -0.5% in May. This is worse than the 3-month average increase of 1.1%.

  • Retail Parks saw footfall decreased -2.6% in June (YoY), up from -4.1% in May. This is worse than the 3-month average increase of 1.8%.

  • Shopping Centre footfall decreased by -4.2% in June (YoY), up from -4.8% in May. This is worse than the 3-month average increase of 2.9%.

  • Of the UK nations, Scotland saw the least YoY decrease in footfall with a decline of -0.9%, followed by Wales with -1.0%, England with -1.9% and Northern Ireland -3.7%.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Footfall was down on June last year as the hot weather meant that people opted to enjoy the outdoors. Shopping patterns are still finding a new balance, as the high cost of living is affecting people’s habits and choices. We saw fewer visits to shopping centres and retail parks than last year. But High Street locations were busier and footfall in major cities also improved, thanks to an increase in international tourism.“The UK is the only European destination without tax-free shopping: Government must capitalise on the uptick in tourism by reintroducing VAT relief for overseas visitors to boost the UK’s attractiveness compared to other destinations and stimulate spending. Government should also seek to mitigate the impact of the slew of cost pressures continuing to bear down on the industry, including new regulation and an inflationary whack to business rates next spring.”

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, commented: "We saw the far-reaching ripple effect of April’s UK inflation peak taking hold this month, with the three-month rolling average for UK footfall in June dipping down into negative figures (-1.1%) for the first time this year. While UK shopper traffic made a marginal gain in June compared to May, which will be some positive news for retailers, the ongoing cost-of-living pressure is set to continue to impact shopper behaviour and undermine consumer confidence. However, with the tide of food price inflation looking like it is finally – and albeit slowly - starting to recede, retailers will be looking ahead to July, and hoping to benefit from ambient footfall from the school holiday period.”

Source : BRC

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12 July 2023

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