Ipsos Retail Performance. Blog.

Heatwave piles on the pressure on UK high streets

High Street Retail
  • Non-food store footfall fell by -10.8% in July, against the same month last year
  • London & The South East continued to post a poor performance, suffering worse than all other regions
  • July did deliver the usual summer peak in footfall, up +3.4% on the previous month

UK retailers suffered from the hot weather, as consumers avoided the high street, with footfall in July falling -10.8% compared to the same month of 2017.

Ipsos Retail Performance, the global retail and footfall consultant, compiles the Retail Traffic Index (RTI), which is derived from the number of shoppers entering over 4,000 non-food retail stores across the UK.

The RTI showed that despite the footfall gap on last year widening in July, the three-month trend has narrowed to -9.1%, improving since its poorest performance between March to May of -11.0%.

July also delivered the seasonal summer peak in footfall, with a +3.4% increase on June. London and the South East again delivered the poorest regional performance, with footfall falling -15.9% on last year.

“Following an improving high street performance over the last couple of months, July’s footfall figures will be very disappointing news for retailers”, commented Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance.

“We had expected the recovery to continue, but any feel-good factor from the hot weather and summer of sport failed to materialise on the high street.

“With the base rate hike, subdued pay awards and consumer confidence languishing, retail spending is unlikely to get any stronger for the remainder of this year. We are also now at 20 profit warnings among listed retailers for 2018, twice the number of 2017 – underlining just how tough both trading conditions and the costs associated with structural changes are impacting the sector.”


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