15 July 2024, 03:54
By Furniture News Jul 07, 2023

Footfall slowed during June's heatwave, says BRC-Sensormatic IQ

June saw total UK retail footfall decrease by -1.9% YoY, up from -2.8% in May – according to the latest report from BRC-Sensormatic IQ.

High street footfall increased by +0.6%  YoY, up from -0.5% in May, yet retail parks saw footfall decrease  -2.6% YoY (up from -4.1% in May), and shopping centre footfall decrease by -4.2% YoY (up from -4.8% in May). 

Of the UK nations, Scotland saw the least YoY decrease in footfall, with a decline of -0.9%, followed by Wales with -1.0%, England with -1.9% and Northern Ireland -3.7%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “Footfall was down on June last year as the hot weather meant that people opted to enjoy the outdoors. 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.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, adds: “We saw the far-reaching ripple effect of April’s UK inflation peak taking hold this month, with the three-month rolling average for UK footfall in June dipping down into negative figures (-1.1%) for the first time this year. 

"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.”

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