Good Weather Drives Up Retail Footfall

Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard show retail footfall in June was up 0.8% on a year ago, compared with a 1% drop in May and ahead of the three month average of 0.5%.

The arrival of summer spurred greater shopper footfall in the majority of retail destinations last month. High streets (+0.9%) and retail parks (+2.3%) saw solid growth in footfall as shoppers headed out to buy summer clothing and other seasonal items. However, footfall in Shopping Centres fell by 0.8%.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard Marketing and Insights Director, attributed the uplift in footfall in June to a number of factors. “The weather was far better than in June last year, which encourages consumers to visit bricks and mortar destinations, particularly external environments such as high streets and retail parks,” she said.

“Also in recent months, we have seen rising footfall in the hours after 5pm, illustrating the trend in consumer behaviour towards leisure trips after retail trading hours, demonstrated by the rise in hospitality sales of +0.3% in June.  In June, however, the better weather supported the increase in footfall during daytime hours. Indeed, the cumulative impact of both these factors accounts for the weaker footfall performance in shopping centres compared with high streets and retail parks.”

However, the BRC warned that maintaining growth in footfall in the coming months could be difficult. Its Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said: “Amidst economic uncertainty and mounting concern over the inflationary squeeze on household incomes, sustaining growth in shopper footfall will be challenging, more so as retailers seek to convert that into an improved performance at tills.”