Why have summer sales slowed in our region’s shops? Warmer weather contributes to footfall drop

Love Local in Norwich on Gentleman's Walk.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Love Local in Norwich on Gentleman's Walk.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The region's high street retailers have reported a slowdown in summer sales as a result of fewer people hitting the shops.

Footfall in Norwich was down 2.5pc to 1,662,415 in June compared to the same time last year, but over all the year is up 5.2pc.

It comes as the national retail sales balance for the year to July fell for a second successive month.

The Confederation of British Industry survey of 117 firms showed 21 more reported sales were up rather than down, whereas last year the number was 29.

Stefan Gurney, executive director of the Norwich Business Improvement District, said end-of-season sales figures were lower than last year.

'The warmer weather was having an effect. More people were going out to experience the wider offer of the city rather than just the retail offer.'

However, he said most shops had reported a good year so far, with overall sales figures higher than 2014.

Most Read

Elsewhere in the region, traders in Downham Market have reported a noticeable difference in July footfall.

Town Team chairman Simon Prior said: 'July and August are usually pretty quiet with the school holidays. But we had such a promising start to the year and nothing major happened economically – so I have no idea why the difference is so noticeable.'

John Maddocks, owner of Aurum Jewellers on Bedford Street in Norwich, said while sales were up on last year, the last couple of months had been tough.

'I have no idea why it is,' he said. 'Road works around the city are a nightmare. I think a lot of people can't be bothered to come to Norwich at the moment.'

While footfall in shops for the last couple of months has been lower, the tourist industry has reported a spike.

Pete Waters, from Visit Norfolk, said: 'Accommodation providers are reporting sales are up. Everybody we have been talking to says they are having a good season.'

Have you got a business story for the EDP? Call Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk or ben.woods@archant.co.uk