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Footfall decline slows

ShoppingcentreFootfall to non-food stores showed signs of improvement last month.

Average weekly footfall in non-food stores in the UK rose by 9.6% in June over May, but fell by -3.9% compared to the same month of last year, according to Ipsos Retail Performance.

It said footfall over the first six months of the year is down by 2.1% on 2018, compared to -9.1% the previous year.

‘Stores in the UK are no longer haemorrhaging footfall in 2019 in the way that they have been in recent years. The structural change from bricks to clicks is reaching the end of its current chapter with the possible exception of stores in London and the South East where store footfall remains in decline. Across the country, online sales growth is now running at a third of what it was a year ago and with online sales accounting for 30% of non-food retail sales, we are now in a state of channel concordance. Of course, retailers are well aware through the likes of click-and-collect that the next chapter is about coalescence and confection, in which channel differentiation and sales attribution by channel becomes an irrelevance,’ says Tim Denison, Ipsos Retail Performance director of retail intelligence.

‘In time to come, this will be seen as an important moment in UK retail history, but, for now, with the economy in neutral and the outcome of Brexit further away than ever despite the relentless countdown to 31 October, there is so little that retailers can plan around to capitalise on this stabilisation and progress future fulfilment strategies. For the time being, retailers are able to do little more than  live off the scraps, but be ready to act quickly when conditions become brighter and the future clearer.’