October delivered a black trading cloud ahead of the Christmas sales storm, with footfall declining by the largest margin since the EU Referendum, according to the figures published by market intelligence group Springboard and the British Retail Consortium.
Footfall in October decreased by 2% year-on-year, below the 3-month rolling average of -1.4% and the 12-month rolling average of -0.5%.
“All shopping destinations saw shopper footfall ease back in October, which mirrors the month’s paltry sales performance,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.
“Even retail parks, which have continually bucked the trend until now, struggled to attract as many visitors as the previous year.”
According to the report, the East was the only region to show growth in October (1%). This is the eleventh consecutive month of growth for this region.
Retail Parks continue to appeal to shoppers in the East and South East, which were the only regions to show positive growth for this retail destination.
Meanwhile, shopping Centres saw a significant overall decline from -1% to -3%, Greater London being the only region to see positive growth (0.2%).
Overall, the sharpest decline in footfall in October occurred in Northern Ireland (-6.5%), Scotland (-3.3%) and the South West (-3.1%).
Footfall in Greater London declined to -1.3% from -0.9% in September.
Diane Wehrle, Springboard Marketing and Insights director said: “October delivered a black trading cloud ahead of the Christmas sales storm; not only was the -2% drop in footfall the worst result for October since 2013 when it declined by -2.9%, but it was also higher than the result for the month of October in subsequent years which ranged between -0.8% and -0.2%.
“The signs of the gathering cloud have been evident in footfall trends for a while; with the rolling three month average dropping to -1.4%, the lowest since June last year. Both high streets and shopping centres are clearly under pressure, with footfall during retail trading hours dropping by more than 3% in each.”