High street suffers from fall in shoppers

Norwich Market and Gentlemans Walk.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Market and Gentlemans Walk.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The number of shoppers visiting UK stores fell for the second month in a row in May, figures show.

Footfall was 1% lower last month compared with a year ago, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.

The report said the overall footfall number was dragged down by a 1.5% fall on the high street and 2% fall in shopping centres, reflecting the rise of online shopping.

Only out-of-town centres registered a rise of 1.4% last month, driven by a mixture of family-based leisure amenities, free car parking and their increasing use as click and collect locations.

May's 1% fall compares with a 0.8% decline in April, measured against a year ago.

BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said: 'The pace of change in the way we shop shows no sign of slowing. In fact, today's figures show the rate of decline in shopper numbers on our high streets and in shopping centres has slightly increased.

'Local government, town centre managers and retailers will need to continue to work together to refine their high street offer and give customers practical, positive reasons to return.'

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Only three English regions posted rises, with the East coming out on top with 2%, followed by Greater London with a 0.8% rise and the East Midlands recording 0.2%.

The regions of England with the largest falls were the South East with a 2.2% fall, followed by the South West down by 2.1%, with the West Midlands and the North and Yorkshire both falling by 1.7%.

Wales posted a 4.3% fall, with a 1.8% decline in Scotland and a 0.4% drop in Northern Ireland.