Retail footfall drops 2.9 percent in October

Monday, 18 November 2013
Retail footfall in October was 2.9 percent lower than a year ago, and down on the 2.4 percent fall in September, according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their latest Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.

On a three-month rolling basis, this was the worst performance since the start of the year, excluding Easter distortions, with footfall down 2.1 percent in the three months since August.

High streets saw the greatest fall in October, down 3.6 percent year-on-year, followed by shopping centres, unchanged from September’s 2.9 percent decline, while footfall in out-of-town locations improved slightly to a drop of 1.2 percent.

Only one region in the UK saw growth in October – the East, which reported a positive footfall increase, up 0.8 percent compared with last year. The worst performing area was Northern Ireland, where footfall dropped 9.8 percent.

Footfall drops for third month in a row

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “It’s disappointing to see shopper numbers falling again after September’s slowdown, with only one area of the UK showing growth. Although recent months have hinted at economic recovery, many of us are still cautious and keen to manage budgets ahead of Christmas.

“High street and shopping centre footfall both took a hit in October, while out-of-town fared a little better. This trend partially reflects our recent sales figures, which showed that furniture and homewares – often sited in retail parks – had a decent showing while other categories were more subdued, especially fashion.”

Dickinson added: "Despite the tentative optimism in the air, it's clear that conditions remain challenging. Retailers will be hoping that a festive boost to browsing and buying puts things back on a more even keel over the coming months."

Image: John Lewis