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No-deal Brexit impacts footfall

The spectre of a no-deal Brexit is “putting pressure on retailers” and caused UK footfall to slump in September, new data reveals.

Research from Springboard and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows footfall dropped 1.7% in September, compared to the same period last year when it declined by 1.7%.

On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 1.6%. The six and twelve–month averages are at -2.0% and -1.7% respectively. 

High street footfall declined by 1.8%, following the decrease of 2.2% in September last year. Retail park footfall increased by 0.1%, following September 2018 when footfall increased by 0.1%.

Meanwhile, shopping Centre footfall declined by 3.2%, following September 2018’s decline of 2.5%. 

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Retailers are facing a sustained drop in footfall, with numbers of visitors down over 10% in the last seven years alone. With Brexit looming, many consumers are holding off from all but essential purchases, and it is no surprise that the 1.7% drop in footfall has also contributed to a similar fall in sales. High streets and shopping centres were hit hardest with retail parks faring slightly better as they continue to entice shoppers with their varied consumer offering.”

She added: “The ongoing transformation of the retail industry is putting increasing pressure on retailers, which is now compounded by the spectre of a no deal Brexit on 31st October. If the Government wants to support consumers and retailers they should make sure they take no deal off the table, while also addressing the public policy costs, such as business rates, that prevent shops from investing in their retail offering.”



Readers' comments (1)

  • darren hoggett

    The general drop in footfall is due to changing shopping habits as the migration to online increases and will continue to increase, month on month, year on year. As an Independent retail, we are no different.

    While confidence and disposable income ebbs and flows, the overall picture of where retail is heading will not change.

    To politicise this into the Brexit situation is very poor form in my view as that is a different issue, with various potential outcomes. The BRC should embrace the future and stop making excuses.

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