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Shopper numbers down by 1.5%

Footfall fell by 1.5% in May against last year according to research firm Experian.

Levels of customer traffic varied across the UK and although the overall number of shoppers fell, footfall in Scotland was up by 7.% while the North West and North East of the country also posted positive figures, up 1.8% and 0.97% respectively.

Matt Sherwood, senior economist at Experian, said that increased pressure on consumer income would prompt a soft second half of 2008 and a slow start to 2009 with retail sales volume expected to grow by 1.3% next year - the slowest rate of growth since 1995.

He added: "People are now experiencing the financial reality of economic slowdown. Retail sales surprised by coming in on the high side during the first three months of 2008, expanding by 1.9% during the quarter."

Sherwood added: "This was backed up by first quarter GDP data released last week suggesting that consumers have been undaunted by the credit crunch. But we believe this is a last dance before the party fizzles out and retail sales are expected to soften considerably over the rest of the year."

"We expect a soft second half of 2008 and a slow beginning to 2009 will see retail sales volumes grow by just 1.3% next year, the slowest pace since 1995. It would not take much to see retailers post their worst performance since the early 1990s," he said.

The regional footfall break down by region is as follows.

Experian Retail Footfall Index – May 2008 year-on-year comparison

UK -1.5%

Eastern -5.19%

London -0.86%

North West +1.88%

Scotland +7.07%

South East -0.83%

East Midlands -1.72%

North East +0.97%

S.West & Wales -1.60%

West Midlands -0.78%

Yorkshire & Humber -5.27%

Readers' comments (2)

  • How does all this information compare with online fashion figures?

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  • Drapersonline.com will publish some data from Verdict Research tomorrow about online retailing and the latest rates of growth. Look out for it in our free daily news bulletin.
    Jessica Price Brown, managing editor and news editor, Drapers

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