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Storms hit February footfall

UK footfall decreased by 2% year on year for the month of February, as the month’s multiple storms “took their toll”. 

Despite their indoor settings, shopping centres took the worst hit with a 7% decline, the latest  British Retail Consortium-ShopperTrak footfall monitor shows. 

High street footfall declined 2.5% for the month, below the three-month and 12-month average increase of 0.8% and 0.3% respectively. 

Retail parks took a hit of 1.5% year-on-year. 

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: ”Multiple storms took their toll on footfall this February. There was a slight boost in footfall in the final week, where concerns around coronavirus may have contributed to an increase in store visits.

“With the right investment in our communities, local retail will thrive. All eyes will be on the upcoming business rates review, promised in the Budget, and how effectively it can relieve the business rates burden. This would allow more money to be invested back into people, property and technology.” 

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant and ShopperTrak added: “While January saw shopper levels on the High Street boosted by the ‘Boris Bounce’, February was a different story.  Named the wettest February on record, we also had three named storms, which all arrived over weekend trading, and certainly dampened shopper traffic levels. Some communities in the areas particularly affected by storm flooding saw a greater year-on-year decline still; in Wales, for instance, footfall in Cardiff fell 6.4% year-on-year.”


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