High street footfall fell by 2.1% in July as retail parks enjoyed moderate growth, according to the latest BRC-Springboard footfall and vacancies monitor.
Overall footfall in July fell by 1.1% against the previous year. Shopping centres saw a similar decline (-1.3%) whereas retail parks saw growth of 1.7%
The South East and East were the only two regions in the UK to see footfall growth in July, with the East seeing footfall increase for the eighth consecutive month.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Most shopping destinations saw a decline in footfall in July compared with the previous year. Even high streets, which have seen fairly stable growth over recent months, reported a decline. Retail parks were the exception and have fared relatively well since March this year reflecting in part lower rental costs compared to prime and town centre locations as well as convenience for shoppers.
“The overall decline in footfall translated into weak sales performance for stores in non-food particularly, which fell further into negative territory as consumers rein back spending on non-essential items.”
The East Midlands saw the fastest decline in July, with high street footfall falling by 4.7%. Overall, the steepest decline in footfall was seen in the South West and Greater London, which both fell 2.1%.
Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director said: “July’s results might well mark a sea change in consumers’ willingness to spend, as it was the first time since January that footfall dropped during both retail trading hours and into the evening. Over the last few months the growing importance of the leisure based trip has become a key part of the narrative when talking about retail destinations, but a -0.5 per cent drop in footfall post 5pm in July is the first evidence of a tightening of purse strings on casual dining and leisure trips.”