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High streets benefit from August footfall rise

Footfall rose by 0.1% in August at all retail locations compared with the same month last year, driven by a “healthy rise” for high streets of 1.1%.

Numbers flocking to retail parks increased by 0.4% year-on-year, while shopping centres fell by 1.9%, according to the BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.

But Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said the rise in footfall on high streets compared with a fall in retail sales for the same period.

“This suggests that people are being drawn to the high streets for reasons other than to shop – perhaps because many are now doing a better job at mixed offer and are no longer solely retail destinations,” she said.

“Improving this model should bode well for the longer term survival of the British High Street.”

Diana Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “Driving the overall rise on the high street is an increase in footfall post 5pm, which highlights the growing evening economy based on leisure activities – hospitality, food and beverage trips – and is a result of a markedly improved and expanded offering by shopping destinations.

“Only in retail parks did footfall during daytime trading hours improve.”



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