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UK high-st sales increase driven by hot weather and sporting success

High-street traffic surpassed shopping centres in June with an increase of 1.4 per cent on last year, compared to a decline of 3 per cent for shopping centres according to a Springboard and British Retail Consortium survey.

The increase in high street footfall of 0.1 per cent compared to a year ago came from Scotland, Greater London, West Midlands and Wales footfall.

Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard said: “I do think this trend will continue throughout the summer- with the good weather there is no reason why it shouldn’t.” Wehrle added that shopping centres need to look at being more flexible in their normal nine to five working hours.”

Many were out enjoying the successful Lions test throughout June, and sport is thought to have played a huge part in increasing footfall on the high-street.

She added: “Events such as the Ashes, which stretches till the end of August, certainly give people a reason to go outside and visit pubs and this will help the high-st.”

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, attributed the progression to improved weather and good promotions available in stores. She added: “Our recent retail sales figures showed a strong performance from fashion and footwear and it is likely that shoppers took advantage of the start of the sunshine in June to visit their local high street and buy items for their summer wardrobes.

“As we have seen in recent months, the increase in footfall was not universal across the country. BRC figures continue to show regional and national variations. London and the West Midlands saw the best performances in England. In Wales and Scotland, the High Street also had a good month.”

Footfall increases were up from a 0.7 per cent decline in May and there were increases in out-of-town locations of 0.6 per cent.

However, reports of a full UK recovery remain premature as in the first six months of 2013, average footfall still fell 1.5 per cent compared with a 2.9 per cent decline during the same period in 2012.

Source: Michael Somerville
Retail Gazette

16 July 2013
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