Number of High Street shoppers plummets by 10%

Josh Hall's picture

The number of shoppers venturing onto British High Streets has fallen by 10 per cent over the last seven years.

This is according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which suggest that footfall dropped by 1.7 per cent last month when compared with the same period a year ago.

This follows a drop of 1.6 per cent in the previous month.

The results continue a dire period for British retailers, who have been buffeted by a combination of collapsing consumer confidence, rate pressures, and the impact of Brexit.

The BRC suggests that fears over the UK's exit from the European Union weighed heavily on consumer confidence last month, while heavy rain also played a part.

The group is calling on the government to avoid a no-deal Brexit in order to help return the retail sector to stability.

Its chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Retailers are facing a sustained drop in footfall, with numbers of visitors down over 10% in the last seven years alone. With Brexit looming, many consumers are holding off from all but essential purchases.

“The ongoing transformation of the retail industry is putting increasing pressure on retailers, which is now compounded by the spectre of a no deal Brexit on 31 October.

“If the government wants to support consumers and retailers, they should make sure they take no-deal off the table, while also addressing the public policy costs such as business rates, that prevent shops from investing in their retail offering.”

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