Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Wet weather dampens footfall in April

Published: 16 May 2018 - Fiona Garcia
 

Retailers on the high street challenged by “thrifty consumer” and poor weather, as footfall drops 3.3% year on year, compared with 1.6% uplift last April

The decline is in line with the three-month average of -3.5 and below the 12-month average of -1.8%.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), there was no growth in footfall for any UK region, now two months of consecutive decline.  However, some regions saw a slower rate of decline, most notably being Wales at 1.5%, and Greater London at 2.4%.

Northern Ireland had a tougher month, with footfall falling sharply by 7.3% from -1.8% the previous month, the 3-month average being now -2.9%.

The BRC also reported an increase in the national town centre vacancy rate was, up from 8.9% in January to 9.2% in April 2018. All regions saw an increase in the vacancy rate, except Greater London, where the rate dropped to 3.6% from 5.6% in January 2018.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said: “A wet start to April had a dampening effect on visits across the UK’s shopping locations adding to the long term downward in footfall resulting from changing consumer behaviour. That shift in the way we shop, coupled with a highly challenging business environment, is having a significant impact on the nation’s high streets: in April nearly one in 10 shops in town centres was vacant.”

Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle: “Given the decline in footfall over the month, negative like-for-like retail sales was not unexpected. Indeed, we had an early warning sign of what was likely to come by the end of the second week, as footfall dropped by an enormous -9% over the first half of the month. In the last two weeks footfall did recover, averaging +1.5%, undoubtedly assisted by improved weather but it was not enough to repair the damage. Indeed, the parlous state of retail trading is highlighted by the fact that footfall post 5pm recovered in the last two weeks of the month, rising by +5.9%, whilst day time footfall dropped by -0.1%.

“Our in-store footfall trackers demonstrate that hospitality outlets lost proportionately less footfall than bricks and mortar destinations generally. So it is clear that retail trading is doubly challenged by a thrifty consumer in concert with a continuing predisposition towards leisure rather than retail spend; reflected by a rise in the vacancy rate to 9.2%.”

Comments


(Your email address will not be published)
Already Registered?
Sign In
Not Yet Registered?
Register
Printable View E-mail Bookmark
*

What do you think?


What's driving sales in the cleaning & laundrycare sector?



Latest reader comments

re: B&Q sales dip 2.5%, as showroom sales decline

B&Q bob
Screwfix sales are up because they position new stores close to B&Q stores but then price like for like products cheaper than within BQ ...

re: B&Q kicks off kitchen & bathroom recruitment drive

B&Q bob
Wickes are not alone, Wrens kitchens has seen large numbers of unappreciated BQ kitchen sales staff join them because of BQs attitude ...

re: Toolstation.com excels in Which? website survey

Roger Bishop
This was my first visit to toolstation in farnham but it will definatly not be my last the service was exceptional staff were welcoming i ...

re: Graham Bell to head up B&Q as part of Kingfisher reshuffle

B&Q bob
Ms Laury has overseen perhaps the worst period of BQ history under her leadership, staff have had their wages cut while witnessing their ...

re: Screwfix opens 600th store as business continues to build

B&Q bob
Why is kingfisher giving screwfix lower prices to sell at than their BQ stores? Staff in B&Q suffer constant abuse from trade customers ...

Most read stories

Blog and Comment

Dawn of a new age in customer service

Customer service used to be about answering telephones and responding to written requests, but our fast paced, social media driven society ... Read More >>