Culture

Shoppers shun high street and shopping centres

Shoppers shun high street and shopping centres”

That came as a result of fewer people visiting Scotland's high streets, down 0.6 per cent, and shopping centres, down 2.2 per cent.

Footfall across the United Kingdom as a whole fell by 1.7%.

"The vacancy rate, now at its highest for a year, fails to brighten the picture for what was evidently a challenging month for retailers".

"Over the last few months the growing importance of the leisure based trip has become a key part of the narrative when talking about retail destinations, but a 6.2% drop in Northern Ireland's footfall post 5pm in July - far greater than the -0.5% across the United Kingdom - is clear evidence of a tightening of purse strings on casual dining and leisure trips".

Last week, Sky News reported on Visa's Consumer Spending Index, which said consumer spending in the United Kingdom had dropped for the third consecutive month in July - marking the longest period of decline in four years.

"One out of every seven retail premises in Northern Ireland now sits empty".

The number of empty shops in towns across Northern Ireland is down slightly, falling to 14.3%.

One out of every seven retail premises in Northern Ireland is now empty, according to new statistics which also show there was a further slump in the number of people who went shopping last month.

Retail parks were the exception and have fared relatively well since March this year reflecting in part lower rental costs compared to prime and town centre locations as well as convenience for shoppers.

The East Midlands region showed the fastest decline on the high street, of all regions, dropping by 4.7%.

She added: "Declining footfall demonstrates that the fall in non-food sales is due to a reduced number of shoppers, so retailers that maintain their in-store footfall are at a clear advantage".

The latest BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor shows that visitor numbers were down by 1.1% in July, and comes hot on the heels of BRC-KPMG figures for July that showed slowing online and offline retail sales growth.

"These results, together with the high level of consumer borrowing, suggest that trading conditions could be reaching a tipping point into a period of restraint".



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