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“Shopping patterns still finding new balance”, as June footfall falls again

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Total UK retail footfall decreased by 1.9% in June (YoY), with hot weather and the continued high cost of living impacting consumer habits.

While the latest BRC-Sensormatic IQ data showed June footfall was up from -2.8% in May, this is worse than the three-month average increase of -1.1%. High Street footfall did increase, but only by 0.6% in June, this again was worse than the three-month average increase of 1.1%.

Retail parks saw footfall decreased 2.6% in June, up from -4.1% in May, with shopping centre footfall down by 4.2%.

Of the UK nations, Scotland saw the least YoY decrease in footfall with a decline of 0.9%, followed by Wales with a drop of 1.0%, England with a fall of 1.9% and Northern Ireland down by 3.7%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, reacted: “Footfall was down on June last year as the hot weather meant that people opted to enjoy the outdoors. Shopping patterns are still finding a new balance, as the high cost of living is affecting people’s habits and choices. We saw fewer visits to shopping centres and retail parks than last year.

“But High Street locations were busier and footfall in major cities also improved, thanks to an increase in international tourism.

“The UK is the only European destination without tax-free shopping: the government must capitalise on the uptick in tourism by reintroducing VAT relief for overseas visitors to boost the UK’s attractiveness compared to other destinations and stimulate spending. Government should also seek to mitigate the impact of the slew of cost pressures continuing to bear down on the industry, including new regulation and an inflationary whack to business rates next spring.”

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