- Huw Hughes
Shopper numbers fell by 3.8 percent year-on-year in July, a slight
improvement on the 3.9 percent deficit in June.
According to Retail Traffic Index figures from Ipsos Retail Performance,
hot weather during the first week of school holidays hit footfall hard,
with shopper numbers in the last week of July – typically the busiest week
of the summer – down by 9.5 percent on last year. The summer climax is now
expected to be pushed into August.
When compared to June, retail footfall in July continued to climb, with
average weekly footfall up 3.4 percent, the same uplift for the month as
Stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland fared the worst compared to last
year, with weekly footfall in July down 6.5 percent on the same month last
London and South East England were the regions most out of line with the
rest of the country, where the 3-month trend languishes at -6.4 percent
year-on-year, almost double the decline for the UK as a whole, which stands
at -3.3 percent.
Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail
Performance, commented: “July’s figures provide further
evidence that footfall in non-food stores is finding its new norm and that
traffic online and in store is re-balancing.
“At this time last year, the three-month trend in store footfall was
down 9.1 percent on the previous year, now it is sitting at just -3.3
percent. True, we still have overcapacity in the number of retail units in
the country and vacancy levels remain at around 10 percent.
“We also have locations that pull much more footfall than others and
estate rationalisation in places is still needed. Nevertheless at the top
level, it is becoming increasingly evident as the months roll by, that the
slide of recent years is now coming to an end, meaning that retailers can
begin to plan and invest with confidence in their store strategies.”
Photo credit: Pexels, Artem Bali