As energy costs rise, footfall struggles in first week of October
UK retail footfall remains sluggish as the cost of living crisis weighs on consumer sentiment, two reports showed on Monday.
The latest Ipsos Retail Tracker showed that in the seven days up to Sunday, overall UK non-food footfall was down 13.1% compared to the same week pre-pandemic and up only 0.8% compared to the previous week. The best performing region was northern England were store visits were down by 'only' 11.4% against 2019.
In cities, Ipsos recorded a 17.2% fall against 2019 and a 1.1% drop compared to the previous week, while towns were down 8.6% on a three-year basis but up 0.9% week on week.
High Street fell 10.8% against 2019 but rose 3.3% against the previous week, while retail parks were down 10.8% and 3.9% and shopping centres fell 17.4% but rose 2.7% week on week.
Meanwhile, a report from Springboard suggested that footfall declined 0.2% week on week in the last seven days. And its figures showed a drop of 0.9% in retail parks and 1.8% in shopping centres, but a rise of 1% to high streets. That said, overall footfall rose versus the week before on both Sunday and Monday with an average increase of 3.6%.
While reports from different tracking companies will differ slightly due to variations in the way figures are recorded, it's undeniable that overall visitor traffic isn't picking up in the way retailers might hope it would at this time of year.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “It may be a little premature to draw definitive conclusions; however, the comprehensive drop in footfall across nearly all parts of the UK may well be an initial indicator of the impact on consumers of higher energy costs that came into effect on 1 October. This is a clear contrast to the week before last when footfall rose universally across all areas of the UK.”
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