UK retailers benefited from record month-on-month growth in footfall for June, with a 11.4% increase in high street traffic compared with May.
Compared with the same period last year, footfall was 7.8% lower, but June did deliver a reduction in the year-on-year deficit for the fourth successive month, data from Ipsos showed. The Ipsos Retail Performance report suggested that the heatwave played a part in keeping shoppers off the high street, as footfall was down 15.1% for the week commencing 24 June.
England’s World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden also had a negative effect on retailers operating on the UK high street, with footfall down 18.9% on the previous Saturday.
Footfall in non-food stores fell by 9.6% in Q2 against the same period last year, a further slump on the 8.5% decline seen in Q1. The report suggested that this decline was the result of a heavy 12.8% deficit in April, as well as London and the South East suffering a 15.3% drop.
Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, said: “There are a number of reasons behind this improvement in footfall levels on the high street; real average weekly earnings continue to rise, competition is driving prices down, and the rate of growth in online retailing is slowing, as an equilibrium between bricks and clicks gradually begins to form.
“A poor performance in London is hardly welcome news to stores in the region, which have borne the brunt of the recent business rate rises. Despite the fall in footfall, it’s interesting that new research by Savills shows that fewer CVA stores have closed or seen rent reductions in London and the South East.
“We expect the year-on-year figures to continue to close in July, helped by the feel-good factor generated by a ‘proper British summer’ and the introduction of new ranges,” he added.