Sun is shining again on Britain’s high streets
Britain’s high streets are bouncing back, with the warm weather sending shoppers back to traditional shopping venues.
Figures out from the British Retail Consortium showed high streets enjoyed a 1.4 per cent increase in shopper footfall June whenpared to last year. Out of town retail parks also showed some improvement, up 0.6 per cent. But shopping centres – effectively covered malls which can be either in towns or on the outskirts – continued to suffer with a 3 per cent fall.
Overall there was a 0.1 per cent improvement in footfall at all shopping venues when compared with June 2012. The same is true for the three April to June average, which showed a 0.1 per cent rise with the high street again doing best (up 1.3 per cent) and covered shopping centres the worst (down 2.6 per cent). Out of town retail parks saw a 0.7 per cent increase in footfall over the three month period.
June’s improvement will come as a relief to the embattled retail sector which endured a dismal May when many shoppers stayed at home and the BRC recorded a 0.7 per cent overall fall in consumer footfall.
Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “The UK high street was busier in June, and BRC figures show that footfall has increased as we have seen shoppers take advantage of the good promotions available at the moment in stores.
“The relatively strong UK wide figures are reflected in modest increases in footfall in out-of-town retail, although shopping centres did not perform quite so well.”
Ms Dickinson identified the warm weather as a significant contributor saying, adding: “Our recent retail sales figures showed a strong performance from fashion and footwear and it is likely that shoppers took advantage of the start of the sunshine in June to visit their local high street and buy items for their summer wardrobes.”
As ever the figures mask sharp variations across the country, with the economic powerhouse of London continuing to outperform along with the West Midlands. Scotland and Wales were also in positive territory but much of the rest of the South of England and the North saw declines although not on the scale of Northern Ireland. Shops there endured a 5.9 per cent tumble in retail footfall.
Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said part of the reason for gains on high streets can be put down to a greater decline in footfall than managed shopping locations in previous years. As such they start from a lower base.
But she added: “The benefit of high streets being ‘open for business’ 24 hours a day is also key as it is footfall which falls outside usual retail trading hours – rather than between 9am and 5pm – which is improving, and clearly shielding high streets against the ill winds of a long term decline in customer numbers.”
Recent data from several sources has pointed to a general improvement in Britain’s economy, although manufacturing remains a lagard.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
- 5 QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...