19 May 2024, 21:25
By Furniture News Oct 06, 2023

Retailers must "run faster just to stand still", says BRC-Sensormatic IQ

Retail footfall slipped back in September according to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data, which found that total UK footfall decreased by -2.9% in September (YoY), down from -1.6% in August.

High street footfall decreased by -1.7% YoY, retail parks by -2.4% and shopping centres by -4.0% in September.

Of the UK nations, Scotland saw a YoY rise in footfall, showing an increase of +1.0%. Conversely, Wales saw a decrease of -1.4%, England by -2.9% and Northern Ireland by -3.6%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “During the warmer-than-expected weather, footfall slowed in September, with fewer shoppers across all shopping locations. High streets and retail parks held up slightly better as the return to school helped increase the number of shopping visits at the start of the month.

"Retailers will want to invest in their properties in the run-up to Christmas, but the prospect of a £400m increase to business rates next year will limit their capacity for improvements. The Chancellor should announce a freeze to rates at the Autumn Budget in November.”

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, adds: “Rather than the traditional ‘Back To School’ boost to shopper traffic we would normally expect to see in September, footfall remained subdued as consumer caution on discretionary spending stayed high, perhaps prompted by shoppers withholding spend to save ahead of the Golden Quarter and Christmas. 

"While retailers will be hoping this month’s first fall in food prices in two years will mark the beginning of the end of inflationary-driven pressure on household budgets, many will recognise that the reality of inflationary-driven interest rates – and consequently higher mortgages and rent payments - will be with us ‘higher and for longer’, meaning once again retailers will be required to run faster just to stand still.”

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