Shopping centres fared the best in September

Shopping centres fared the best in September

UK retail footfall continued to fall in September, albeit at a slower pace than the previous month the latest figures show, with more “attractive” high streets crucial in the countdown to Christmas. 

According to the BRC/Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, shopper numbers were down 0.2% year-on-year in September, but marked an improvement from August's 1.6% fall. 

Both high streets and shopping centres reported declines, falling 1.4% and 1.3% respectively. However, BRC said excluding Easter distortions, this is the high street's best performance in seven months. 

Footfall in retail park locations fared the best, increasing 4% year-on-year – the highest figure since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions.

“Retail parks continue to offer shoppers a full leisure experience and are already seeing strong increases in footfall,” said BRC director general Helen Dickinson. “Retailers who have invested in stores in these locations will be hoping the draw remains strong throughout the winter months.”

She added: “Making high streets more attractive for customers will be crucial in the countdown to Christmas and beyond.”

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard said perfect seasonal weather is “vital” to high street fashion sales, with over a quarter of retailers the BRC surveyed confirming they bought forward store drops of autumn/winter stock this season. 

“Together with the additional bank holiday trading day, this boosted overall sales of outerwear and accessories, including footwear.”