Footfall sees small increase in August

1st September 2023 | Jack Oliver

Footfall in August saw a small increase against July of 0.2%, according to the latest figures from MRI Springboard.

The data found that footfall in high streets and shopping centres increased by 0.7% in August, however retail parks saw a decline in visitors of 1.5%.

Compared to 2022, footfall in August was higher by 1.9%, compared to year-on-year increases of 4.2% and 2.1% in June and July respectively.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, MRI Springboard, said: “Footfall performance in August points to a continuing weakening in consumer demand, which is unsurprising given the recent rises in interest rates and ongoing high levels of inflation.

“Footfall across UK retail destinations rose by just 0.2% from July to August 2023. However, this was not a sufficiently large enough uplift to offset the month-on-month drop of 0.3% from June, which was the first month-on-month drop of footfall in July for 14 years.”

The gap to pre-Pandemic (2019) levels of footfall narrowed in August to -11%, an improvement over the -12.1% gap recorded in July. However, this gap was still broader than the gap of -8.6% seen in a relatively warm June.

Wehrle added: “Despite the adverse outcome in August, a glimmer of optimism is provided by the fact that the gap from the 2019 footfall level narrowed marginally to -11% from -12.1% in July.

“However, with consumers already pulling back on their shopping activity – particularly leisure-based trips – it suggests that Q4 will lead to even more cautious buying behaviour, and a challenging trading landscape for UK retail over the festive period.”


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