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    October’s wet weather dampens retail footfall

    (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

    Retail footfall fell sharply in October as heavy rainfall across the UK kept shoppers at home.

    Data from the BRC-Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor shows total footfall fell back 5.7 per cent in the four weeks to 28 October, which represented a further fall from the drop of 2.9 per cent in September.

    Broken down by shopping location, high street footfall fell 4.6 per cent last month from a 1.7 per cent decline in September, retail parks were down 4.3 per cent from 2.4 per cent, and shopping centres fell 7.3 per cent from a 4 per cent drop in the previous period.

    Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said, “Umbrellas were up as heavy rainfall descended across the UK in October, leading many shoppers to stay at home. As inflationary pressures on households begin to ease, some people are shopping around slightly less, braving the rain only to make their final purchases.”

    However, she added, “While consumer confidence may be higher than 2022, it is still very weak. The economic landscape remains tough, with input prices and cost pressures above normal levels.”

    Meanwhile, Andy Sumpter, EMEA retail consultant at Sensormatic Solutions, commented, “Our destination data seems to show that consumers are visiting fewer stores during each trip. This suggests a move away from shopping around for the lowest prices and best deals, toward more focused purchasing as consumers become more accepting of the current reality of paying more to buy less.

    “With this in mind, retailers must capture customer loyalty and spend as early as possible. As we head into the critical Christmas purchasing period the focus must be on optimising their online presence or creating engaging experiences that can entice passing trade in-store to be converted into sales.”

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