Retail experts Springboard revealed on Wednesday that UK footfall growth had slowed in September as Britons continue to struggle with the current economic situation.
Springboard said UK footfall grew 6.8% year-on-year in September, down from 8.6% in August and 15.6% in July.
Footfall in high streets increased 9.5% in September, down from 13.9% in August, while shopping centre footfall grew 7.7% year-on-year, down from 7.5% in August. Footfall in retail parks was just 0.3% higher than in 2021.
Springboard also noted that roughly half of all employees were still working at home for at least part of the week, impacting the retail sector recovery in high streets.
Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s marketing and insights director, said: “The energy price guarantee introduced by the government has eased some of the severe doom felt by many households. However, the ongoing rate of inflation combined with the recent rise in interest rates means that from October onwards shoppers will inevitably exercise even greater discretion and be more considered in their purchasing behaviour.
“The impact on footfall and therefore on retail sales will be immediate, with it also being likely that fewer trips will be made to larger centres that incur a greater travel cost. This was a trend that Springboard identified over the previous two recessionary periods when austerity encouraged shoppers to shop more locally, however, on a positive note this may continue to deliver a greater degree of resilience in smaller more local high streets that was a key trend of the pandemic period.”
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com