June saw a slight drop in footfall as shoppers continue to find balance amid high cost of living, show recent figures.
According to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data released today (7), total UK footfall decreased by -1.9 per cent in June (YoY), up from -2.8 per cent in May. This is worse than the 3-month average increase of -1.1 per cent.
High Street footfall increased by 0.6 per cent while retail Parks saw footfall decreased -2.6 per cent in June. Shopping Centre footfall decreased by -4.2 per cent last month.
Of the UK nations, Scotland saw the least YoY decrease in footfall with a decline of -0.9 per cent, followed by Wales with -1.0 per cent, England with -1.9 per cent and Northern Ireland -3.7 per cent.
Commenting on the figures, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium said that 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,” Dickinson said.
Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, stated that 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,” Sumpter said.