Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Footfall strong in June

Published: 8 July 2009
Synovate Retail Traffic Index (RTI) figures reveal UK shopper numbers fell marginally against last year, with June one of the best months of the year so far.
Footfall strong in June
he Synovate RTI figures for June reveal that UK shopper numbers fell just by just 0.1% against June last year and that shops in June were 3.7% busier than in May.

Looking at the longer term picture, the index value for Quarter Two 2009 stood only 0.3% down on the same quarter of 2008, a far stronger comparator than in either Quarter 1 (-2.6%) or Quarter 4 2008 (-3.3%).

Synovate retail psychologist Dr Tim Denison explained: "We continue to watch these monthly 'will-o'-the-wisp' conditions unfold. There seems almost no rhyme nor reason for the swings in retail statistics; the state of demand is both fluky and fragile. After a dreadfully quiet May, June was considerably better; the number of non-food shopping trips was almost on a par with last year, making it the second best month of the year so far.

However, Dr Denison warned that, although the down turn appears to have flattened out, the industry is still waiting for signs as to how the rest of the year will pan out. "Retail footfall is improved over the earlier part of the year, but the trend remains unstable and vulnerable."

He added: "On a positive note, our data serves to confirm that things are not getting any worse in retailing. The promise of good weather, the weakness of sterling and cheaper petrol prices have bolstered holiday-making in Britain this summer by an estimated 20-30%, which spells good news for UK retailers.

"Our footfall figures for June reflect this. Certainly the last three weeks of good weather have bolstered the number of shopping trips being made. But one has a sense that the current factors that are shaping the monthly figures are playing at the fringes rather than taking lead roles. They alone will not unlock the subdued state of shopping."

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