Miserable May for physical retailers as footfall slumps
The UK experienced its worst footfall figures in six years during May, with declines in every region, and across High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres.
Research by the BRC and Springboard shows that footfall declined by 3.5% in May, compared to the same point last year when it dropped by 0.4%. High Street footfall was down by 4.8%, following on from an increase of 0.5% in May last year.
The colder weather, as well as ongoing political and economic uncertainty, made many consumers think twice before heading out to the shops this May, notes Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive at the British Retail Consortium.
“While consumers stayed away, retailers still had to pay the full cost of business rates, which are levied regardless of whether a store makes a penny at the till,” she says. “These rising costs are making many retailers rethink investment decisions, as well as contributing to store closures up and down the country. The Government must act to reform this anachronistic tax system or it will be the consumers who suffer the shuttered windows at their local shopping locations.”