High street retail footfall surge loses momentum during May

High street footfall in May fell by 1% in the UK on the same month in the previous year, the first decline since February.

This is below the three-month average of 0.7%. This month's positive three-month average makes two consecutive months of three-month average growth, the first time this has occurred since June-August 2013.

High street footfall declined in May, the fall of 2.0% its steepest decline since June. This is below the three-month average of 0.8%.

Footfall to retail park destinations grew by 1.5 per cent in May, below the three-month average growth rate of 1.8%.

Shopping centre footfall fell by 1.3% in May, below the three-month average of -0.5%.

Garden centres have reported making up some of the losses in the last week of May after poor weather hit sales in the first three weeks.

British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "After the Easter boost in shopper numbers to retail destinations, footfall fell in May, which was mirrored in the month’s sales performance. But it wasn’t just shops that suffered; poor weather at the beginning of the month kept people indoors and made it a poor month for footfall in general with fewer people out and about.

"The biggest movement was noticeable in the number of visitors to the high street, which after several months of growth, saw the steepest decline since June last year.  In an uncertain economic climate, retailers will be looking to the next Government to deliver on their commitment to fundamental reform of business rates; to implement a more sustainable system that allows for growth and investment."

Springboard marketing director Diane Wehrle said: "May was clearly a month of moderation for UK shoppers, with a -1% drop in footfall across all destinations, and a -2% drop in the high street. The slowing of growth in footfall post 5pm to +1.1% in May from +3.5% in May 2016 reflects this moderation, suggesting fewer shoppers opted to stay longer and eat out after their shopping trips; a concern for retail locations that have focussed on expanding their food offer to grow shopper dwell time.  The drop in footfall was mirrored by a drop of -3.7% in UK sales as measured by Springboard's sales index which tracks sales in bricks and mortar stores – with fashion spend in particular dipping in May.  These are clear signals that consumers have started to display greater spending restraint.

"Whilst May’s footfall decline didn’t show a dramatic drop overall, the result for high streets was the worst result since June 2016 when high street footfall declined by -3.7% in the wake of the EU Referendum.  However, April's results were boosted by the shift in Easter from March in 2016 to April this year, so it is unsurprising that there was a downward shift in footfall from last month, particularly as UK consumers could feel additionally cautious in the lead up to the General Election."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Scaevola

Scaevola

This brilliant summer bedding plant has fan-shaped flowers that give it an elegant look, says Miranda Kimberley.

What the Taylor Review of employment practices means for garden retail

What the Taylor Review of employment practices means for garden retail

Garden centre owners have come down hard against zero-hours contracts following the release of "Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices".

Is garden centre pricing becoming more competitive?

Is garden centre pricing becoming more competitive?

Good sales this year appear to have masked the continuing pressure on pricing strategies this year as online offerings and exchange rates make their presence felt.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles