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Retail footfall improves on June but down on 2018

ShoppingCMonthly retail footfall rose in July but fell compared with July 2018, according to Ipsos Retail Performance’s Retail Traffic Index.

Average weekly footfall was 3.4% higher compared with June, the same uplift for the month as last year, but compared with July 2018, shopper numbers fell by 3.8%, a slight improvement on the 3.9% drop in June.

The advent of hot weather during the first week of school holidays hit footfall hard. Typically the busiest week of the summer, shopper numbers in the last week of July were down by 9.5% on last year.

Stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland suffered the most against last year, with weekly footfall in July down 6.5% on 2018. 

London and South East England remains the region most out of line with the rest of the country, where the three-month trend is -6.4% year-on-year, almost double the decline for the UK as a whole, which stands at -3.3%.

‘July’s figures provide further evidence that footfall in non-food stores is finding its new norm and that traffic online and in store is re-balancing.At this time last year, the three-month trend in store footfall was down by 9.1% on the previous year, now it is sitting at just -3.3%. True, we still have overcapacity in the number of retail units in the country and vacancy levels remain at around 10%. We also have locations that pull much more footfall than others and estate rationalisation in places is still needed. Nevertheless at the top level, it is becoming increasingly evident as the months roll by, that the slide of recent years is now coming to an end, meaning that retailers can begin to plan and invest with confidence in their store strategies,’ says Tim Denison, Ipsos Retail Performance director of retail intelligence.