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Economy

Footfall down 1.1% across the UK in July

Total UK retail footfall in July was 1.1% lower than the same time last year, though this still represented a marginal improvement on the 1.5% fall in June.

Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor showed footfall on the high street and in shopping centres fell 2.2% and 2.5%, respectively.

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This is in contrast to latest figures from Ipsos Retail Performance, which said footfall growth in the UK during July had increased at its fastest rate for 11 years.

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Retail parks continued to fare well reporting a footfall increase of 3.1% compared with the same month last year. This was the highest increase since May 2014, excluding Easter distortions.

London was the only region to report positive footfall growth (0.4%), while the East Midlands, at a fall of 0.7%, was the only other region to report footfall above the UK average fall of 1.1%.

Meanwhile the national town centre vacancy rate was 9.8% in July, this was down from the 10.2% rate reporting in April 2015. This was the lowest reported rate since reporting started in July 2011.

Helen Dickinson, director general at the BRC, said: “Today’s figures contain interesting news for the UK’s retail industry. The continued popularity of retail parks will cheer retailers who have invested in these locations – a footfall increase of 3.1 % is the highest we’ve seen since May 2014.

“The fall in shop vacancy rates to below 10% for the first time since this monitor began will also be welcomed, albeit cautiously.”

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