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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk