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    Trade bodies call for policies to revitalise high streets as footfall drops again in May

    Photo: iStock

    The BRC – Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor report for May has revealed decreased footfall across the UK retail locations in May, as bank holidays and improving weather failed to entice customers to make in person trips to shopping destinations.

    Key findings from the BRC footfall monitor include:

    • Total UK footfall decreased by 3.6 per cent in May (YoY), up from -7.2 per cent in April.
    • High Street footfall decreased by 2.7 per cent in May (YoY), up from -6.9 per cent in April.
    • Retail Park footfall decreased by 2.3 per cent in May (YoY), up from -6.2 per cent in April.
    • Shopping Centre footfall decreased by 4.5 per cent in May (YoY), up from -7.2 per cent in April.

    Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said Parties must produce plans to revitalise footfall across the UK.

    “With an election only five weeks away, political parties have a role to play too by having policies that mean retailers can invest in rejuvenating shopping destinations across the UK,” she commented.

    “A broken business rates system and outdated planning laws are holding back the industry – politicians of all stripes must address these issues. This will boost economic growth, lift consumer spirits, and help drive more shoppers back to our high streets and other retail destinations.”

    The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has said another month of low footfall for the high streets is both “concerning” and “disappointing”.

    “These figures for footfall are very disappointing and highlight the challenges faced by independent retailers. We have an election on the 4th of July, and whoever comes into government must prioritise restoring consumer confidence. It’s crucial for the new government to understand the importance of supporting local businesses to ensure the vitality of our high streets and shopping centers,” Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of Bira, said

    “The upcoming election represents a critical juncture for the retail community. Bira urges all political candidates to consider robust measures that will boost consumer confidence and stimulate retail activity. This includes potential fiscal incentives, marketing campaigns to promote local shopping, and broader economic policies that enhance disposable income and spending power among consumers,” he added.

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