BRC figures reveal

Footfall in October fell by two per cent on the previous year, according to the latest BRC Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.

This was a deeper decline than September when footfall fell by 1.7 per cent.

High Street footfall fell by 2.3 per cent, with Northern Ireland and Greater London the only two regions to see growth, with four per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium said: “October showed another month reflecting the continued long-term decline in footfall.

“This trend is primarily driven by a move from in-store to online purchases.

“With retail becoming more digital, physical shopping locations are working to reinvent themselves as places people go for days-out rather than just for day to day purchases.

“Nonetheless, the vacancy rate is at a 15-month high, with many brands disappearing from the high street, and many more struggling under the cumulative burden of public policy costs.

“The Government’s recent Budget missed the opportunity to halt the rising cost business rates for firms employing the majority of the UK’s 3.1 million retail workers.

“With the rates multiplier now set to rise to over 50 per cent, the Government should reflect on the impact it is having on our high streets and plan for a wholesale reform of our broken business rate system.”

Shopping Centre footfall declined to 3.3 per cent, after a decrease of 2.5 per cent in September.

The national town centre vacancy rate was 9.6 per cent in October, an increase on a year ago when the rate was 9.3 per cent.

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