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BRC-Springboard - Footfall down 1.1% in July

UK footfall in July was 1.1% lower than the same month last year. The drop follows a 1.5% decline in June.

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their monthly footfall monitor reveal that footfall in retail park locations fared the best with a 3.1% increase year-on-year, the highest figure since May 2014, excluding Easter distortions.

Meanwhile, high streets and shopping centres both saw declines with respective drops of 2.2% and 2.5%, although the rate of decline slowed in high streets from 2.8% in June.

Footfall in retail park locations fared the best with a 3.1% increase year-on-year, the highest figure since May 2014, excluding Easter distortions.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “No matter how successful high streets are in re-inventing themselves, if they can’t deliver increased footfall we could easily see vacancy rates climbing again. It’s worth noting that the footfall decline has slowed this month, but it still has a way to go.

“So today’s numbers seem to indicate that some British high streets are beginning to solve their space problem, but have yet to capitalise on this and drive up shopper numbers. This is a delicate balancing act and could easily be derailed. Reducing the burden of business rates would give high street operators the opportunity they need to allow more of them to finally flourish.”

Greater London the only region in England to report positive footfall growth with a rise of 0.4%.

Footfall in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland fell by 4.5%, 4.4% and 2.4% respectively.

The national town centre vacancy rate was 9.8% in July 2015, down from the 10.2% rate reported in April 2015. This is the lowest reported rate since we began reporting the data in July 2011.

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