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Footfall rose 0.2% in June

Shopper numbers rose ahead of last year for the first time since January last month with a 0.2% rise in footfall compared to June 2010, according the Experian Retail Footfall Index.

The rise in town centre visitors is largely attributed to the fact that shoppers stayed at home to watch the World Cup last summer.

June was also 2.4% ahead of the previous month thanks to half-term, Father’s Day and the start of the summer Sales.

The South West and Wales saw the highest growth in year-on-year footfall, up 1.8% on last June. London was next with a 1.3% rise compared to the same month last year, while the North West (-3.8%) and the East (-3.4%) fared the worst.

While soaring temperatures at the start of the month encouraged people outdoors, it has not necessarily translated into sales as June also saw a wave of administrations, store closures and profits warnings. Experian Footfall suggests quarterly rent payments, due at the end of June, played a fatal role.

Experian Footfall research also found retail parks showed a 1.5% climb in footfall year-to-date and the Retail Park Index puts the sector’s growth at 0.7%. Meanwhile, the UK National Index declined by 1.0%.

Research shows vacancy rates are higher on the high street than in retail parks as incentives, including free parking, tempt shoppers out of town centres.

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