Posted 25th February

Footfall decline slows in January, says BRC

25th February 2019 - 07:00am
money matters, brc, british retail consortium, springboard, footfall, uk, retail, shopping, high street, retail park, shopping centre, kitchen, bathroom, kbb, kbbdaily, ekbbusiness

The latest British Retail Consortium – BRC – Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor has reported an easing in the decline in footfall in UK retail locations, falling by 0.7% in January compared with the 1.6% drop recorded the previous year.

Footfall on high streets fell by 0.7% last month, marking the sixth consecutive month of declining footfall for the shopping location, while retail parks saw a 0.3% drop – a marked difference from the 0.9% growth it experienced in 2018.

Lastly, shopping centre footfall decreased by 0.9% in January, an improvement on the 3.1% drop from January 2018. The BRC added that the national town centre vacancy rate stood at 9.9% last month, marking an increase from the January 2018 rate of 8.9%.

“Footfall fell by less than the previous year as firms focused on in-store discounts – bringing relatively more people onto the streets,” said BRC CEO Helen Dickinson. “On the other hand, the slight increase in the vacancy rate will be a cause for concern at many shopping destinations.

“The data reflects the underlying pressures which continue to challenge shops up and down the country. Retail is undergoing a seismic shift, with technology changing the way we shop. Consumers are making fewer visits to physical stores, choosing to research and pay for a greater proportion of their purchases online.”

She added: “This requires a reinvention of retail, with outlets investing in their physical space to encourage a more experience-led approach to shopping – something which is being held back by sky-high business rates.”

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