1. News
August 9, 2021

BRC reports 28% decline in UK retail footfall in July

Retail footfall in the UK is below the three-month average decline of 27.7%.

Retail footfall in the UK fell by 28.0% in July from two years prior, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic IQ.

The data, which covers the four weeks from 4 July to 31 July, revealed a 0.4% decrease from the previous month.

This figure is also below the three-month average decline of 27.7%.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said: “After improvements in footfall in the early part of [the year], the situation has plateaued, with little change in footfall levels for a third month in a row.

“The turbulent weather, with initial heatwaves giving over to torrential rain, appears to have dampened the mood for shopping in July, with a particularly pronounced fall in footfall at retail parks.

“[But] the last week of July offered a glimmer of hope for retailers as the easing of restrictions lead to the best weekly performance of [the year].

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“Retailers hope this trend will continue as the rise of vaccinations and falling coronavirus case numbers boosts consumer confidence.”

On 19 July, the UK Government revoked England’s lockdown laws, although certain restrictions are still in force.

During the month, footfall in shopping centres fell by 38.4% and high street footfall dropped by 34.6%.

Sensormatic Solutions Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) retail consultant Andy Sumpter said: “With July’s wet weather dampening shoppers’ spirits, high street footfall stayed subdued as consumers remained cautious.

“[But] while footfall performance was flat compared to June, the trajectory in the second half of July gave cause for more cautious optimism [as] weekend shopper counts improved by 7% week-on-week following ‘Freedom Day’ [19 July].

“Retailers will now be hoping caution will give way to growing consumer confidence so that they can capitalise on summer trading.”

Last month, the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data showing that the volume of retail sales in the country improved by 0.5% between May and June.