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Footfall down during sunny September

Retail footfall across the UK dropped 0.9% in September compared to the same month in 2015, as the warm weather led to sluggish sales.

Sunny high street

High street footfall was down 0.5%, while shopping centres dropped 2.5% and retail parks were flat, according to research firm Springboard.

However, retail spend overall edged up 1.3% year on year in September, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said the results were “no surprise” as the warmer weather impacted new season fashion shopping.

She added: “As we move into winter trading and Christmas over the coming months, the retail sector will be battling a number of other concerning issues such as currency conversion rates, which will be hitting brands who are buying their stock from unfavourable exchange rate markets.

“Living wage costs are also causing pressure on profits, although retailers know that staff levels need to remain strong to deliver excellent customer service to ensure shopping on our high streets, and in shopping centres and retail parks comes with a quality customer experience.”

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, added: “At the same time as both footfall and shop prices have fallen year-on-year, retail spending grew in September by 1.3%.

“This is a function of the changing face of retail and the hard work and innovation of British retail businesses who are responding brilliantly to technological advances and changing consumer habits.”

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