Footfall figures ‘bounce back’ in July

Total UK footfall increased by 1.8 per cent year-on-year in July, up from a decline of 1.9 per cent in June, according to the latest data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic IQ.

High streets saw the highest increase of the retail locations monitored between 2 and 29 July, with a year-on-year increase of 1.6 per cent compared to just 0.6 per cent the previous month.

Shopping centres had a slim 0.2 per cent increase against July 2022, although this was an improvement compared with a rather steep decline of 4.2 per cent in June. Then, retail parks saw a 1.4 per cent increase in July, compared with a 2.6 per cent decline in June.

Scotland saw the highest year-on-year increase in footfall of all the UK nations at 5.9 per cent; Edinburgh experienced a bumper shopping month, with footfall up 12.8 per cent compared to July last year! In England figures rose by 1.8 per cent; London saw shopper numbers jump by 3.5 per cent.

Wales was the only nation to see a decline in year-on-year footfall, at 0.1 per cent.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The rainy start to the Summer holidays drove many people off the streets and into the shops, in contrast to last year’s heatwave, which kept people outside in the sun.”

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, added that footfall saw “a bounce back” into positive figures in July, reversing the slowdown experienced in May and June.

However, he noted: “While retailers will welcome the uptick in shopper traffic, it will be with a sense of practical positivity. Many will be mindful they continue to serve a cost-of-living consumer, who remains cautious. Our data shows that much of the footfall recovery in July was shored up by strong performance in outlet retail, as shoppers turn to discount formats to make spend go further.”