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High street shoppers change the way they shop in the light of online: BRC

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High street shoppers change the way they shop in the light of online: BRC
High street shoppers change the way they shop in the light of online: BRC
Shoppers are changing their high street shopping behaviour in the light of ecommerce, a new study suggests. The BRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor suggests that shoppers now visit shops less often but spend more when they do.

Footfall, the monitor found, was 1.1% down in August compared to the same time last year, contributing to a three-month decline in shopping footfall. The high street felt the impact most strongly, with footfall down by 2.8%, while shopping centres saw it fall by 1.1%. Out-of-town shopping bucked the trend, with visitor numbers up by 2.9% on a year earlier.

“Footfall might be down slightly on this month,” said Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium director general, "but retail sales performed well in August. Taking account the impact of online shopping we see that customers are spending more per trip than in recent months. It seems that customers are hitting the high streets with purpose, knowing what they want to buy ahead of time, supported by online research, and doing more shopping in a single trip.”

Dickinson said the relatively strong performance of out-of-town retail parks could be linked to the strong sales performance of furniture retailers, in turn boosted by optimism in the housing market.

“All this is yet more evidence that the way we shop is fundamentally changing as retailers continue to adapt to changes in shopping habits," she said. "The lines between bricks and mortar stores and digital interactions are less defined and more seamless as retailers continue to innovate in order to meet and exceed the needs of their customers. We will continue to see the whole customer experience becoming more and more important in the use of physical space.”

Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard, said the data showed high streets and shopping centre were particularly vulnerable to “the adverse effect of change that is occurring across our retail landscape as a consequence of online shopping”.
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