Retail footfall plummets in May
Written by Peter Walker
Footfall declined by 3.5 per cent in May, compared to a 0.4 per cent fall at the same point last year, according to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard figures.
High Street footfall declined by 4.8 per cent, following on from the increase of 0.5 per cent in May last year.
Retail park footfall decreased by 0.8 per cent, compared to a 0.6 per cent increase last May, while shopping centre footfall declined by 3.6 per cent, compared to a 2.9 per cent fall during the same month in 2018.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson pointed out that there was declining footfall in every region and across all shopping area types.
“This reflects our recent sales data, which showed the largest drop in retail sale on record,” she said. “The colder weather, as well as ongoing political and economic uncertainty, made many consumers think twice before heading out to the shops this May.
Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s marketing and insights director, noted that the fact that the greatest impact was felt by high streets was not a surprise, given the much poorer weather than in May last year.
“It is clear that consumers are being ever more discerning in their dining habits, and recent failures in the sector indicate both the level of competition and suggests that the everyday dining operators need to provide a more tempting food offer keep customers for the post 5pm spend slot.
“Nonetheless, it is really important to note the longer term trend, with footfall declining by just 1.1 per cent over the five month period since January,” she added. “This a much improved position on the drop of 2.4 per cent over the same five month period last year, showing us that the reduction in customers visiting retail destinations this year has slowed, a more positive result than might have been expected.”