Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

BRC records worst footfall figures in six years

Published:  10 June, 2019

Shops across Britain suffered their steepest fall in customer visits in six years in the past month, with footfall plummeting as declines were recorded in every region, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Footfall declined by 3.5% in the four weeks to 25 May 2019, compared to the same point last year when it declined by 0.4%

On a three-month basis, footfall declined 0.7%, with the six and 12-month averages at -1.3% and -1.4% respectively.

The BRC attributed the declining footfall to “ongoing political and economic uncertainty” and “the colder weather”.

“The UK experienced the worst footfall figures in six years with declines in every region, and across high streets, retail parks and shopping centres. This reflects our recent sales data, which showed the largest drop in retail sale on record,” said Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, BRC.

While consumers stayed away from the shops, retailers still had to pay the full cost of business rates, she added.

“These rising costs are making many retailers rethink investment decisions, as well as contributing to store closures up and down the country. The government must act to reform this anachronistic tax system or it will be the consumers who suffer the shuttered windows at their local shopping locations.

High Street footfall declined by 4.8% compared to the 0.5% increase recorded the previous May. The three-month average decline is 0.8%.

Retail Park footfall decreased by 0.8%, following from May 2018 when footfall increased by 0.6%. The three-month average growth is 1.0%.

Shopping Centre footfall declined by 3.6%, following May 2018’s decline of 2.9%. This was steeper than the three-month average decline of 2.1%.

Last week, the BRC recorded the biggest sales decline on record and warned the issues facing UK high streets require “urgent attention”.

It said total sales in May were down 2.7% on last year, while like for like sales were down 3%, the worst performance since it started recording the data.