A 10% fall in the number of retail shoppers in the UK has been noticed in the last seven years according to the Chief Executive Helen Dickinson of the British Retail Consortium. This September, retailers faced new challenges after heavy rain and Brexit concerns, as indicated by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard data company. Footfall at retail outlets dropped by 1.7% last month in comparison with the percentage drop last year, and 1.6% in the last three months.
Bricks and mortar retailers have struggled with consumers shifting to online outlets. The increasing cost of maintaining a store, with rent, wage and business rates adds to the burden of retailers.
The transformation of the retail industry has added pressure on retailers which will be compounded by the no-deal Brexit at the end of the month.
It is Helen Dickinson’s belief that if the government wishes to support its consumers and retailers, they should make sure that a Brexit deal is sought and public policy costs that prevent investment are curbed. A report which was released in September showed that pubs and restaurants are being left without customers at a faster pace than the last decade. Debenhams and Marks & Spencer type high fashion stores have also announced store closures.
The footfall data showed that shopping centers suffered the largest loss of visitors in September, with a 3.2% decrease in numbers as compared to 2018. The high street fashion saw a loss of 1.8% and retails parks experienced a decrease of 0.1%.
Diane Wehrle, the insights and marketing director of Springboard said that there may yet be some hope with Christmas around the corner.
The monumental changes in the retail trading landscape in the last decade have proven that long term footfall is at a downward curve. However, 80% of the spend in in-store purchases shows that brick and mortar stores may still survive the fourth quarter of 2019.