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Where have all the shoppers gone?

Where have all the shoppers gone?  Footfall on the British high street fell by...

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Where have all the shoppers gone?

15th May 2018

News : Commercial

Where have all the shoppers gone?

 Footfall on the British high street fell by 4.8% over March and April, worse than the drop during the same period in the recession of 2009, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard.

So, why aren’t people heading to the shops?

It’s the weather – the heavy rainfall during April may have scared off some high street consumers.

People just don’t have the money – wage growth continues to trail inflation, so in real terms, the average consumer is poorer than they were this time last year.

It’s the internet – free delivery and the convenience of online browsing make online shopping a tempting alternative to a trip to the shops.

People are prioritising leisure – one of the most interesting findings from the study was that during the second half of April, footfall after 5pm increased by 5.9%, whilst footfall prior to 5pm fell by 0.1%.  Are we just choosing to spend our money on food and drink, rather than retail items?

The real reason behind the decline in high street footfall is probably a combination of all of the above.  It will be interesting to see whether high street retailers are able to use innovation to buck the declining trend, or whether they opt to move away from the high street permanently.

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