Footfall, the number of people entering (but not necessarily buying anything in) shops, for retail parks grew by 2.4% in June. Both high street and shopping centre footfall were down 1.7% and 1.4% respectively. Overall retail footfall fell by 0.7%, compared with June 2013.
Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium director general, said: “At first glance, this month’s figures don’t paint a rosy picture for the retail industry with the headline figure showing footfall shrinking once again. However, out-of-town shopping destinations continue to outperform high streets and shopping centres, reinforcing the fact that shopping is something we increasingly do as a leisure activity and that well managed ‘destinations’, whether in or out of town, still have the power to pull in the shopping public.
“However, strong footfall doesn’t always equate to good sales and vice versa. Retailers have seen good sales growth in their online clothing and footwear offer and many are reporting positive results led by their online Summer sales. The popularity of click-and-collect has helped support footfall in retail parks offering further evidence of the changing shape of how we shop and the increasing complexity of the relationship between digital and physical.”
Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights director at Springboard, said: “June is the sixth month in a row in which activity in retail and shopping parks has increased, and so it appears that the trend for consumers to favour out of town locations over urban shopping environments has established itself as a key feature of 2014.”