High Street footfall continued to grow in July while Retail Parks saw a second successive decline.
According to the latest retail footfall figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the number of people on the High Street rose by 0.3% compared to the 3.7% fall in June. Shopping centres and Retail Parks both continued to display negative figures, with footfall down by 2% and 0.3% respectively.
However, despite the second increase in three months for the High Street, overall footfall for July 2016 was down by 0.4%, albeit better than the 2.8% fall in June.
The BRC also revealed that the national town centre vacancy rate was 10.1% in July 2016, up from 9.6% in April 2016. This is the second time this year the vacancy rate has risen and the first time since April 2015 the rate has breached the 10% mark.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “Today’s figures remain lacklustre with total footfall down again. Retailers will have taken comfort from the fact that recent BRC figures show that total sales grew over the same period. Given the decline in footfall is slowing and High Street locations actually reported an increase in shopper numbers, some retailers in some locations may have some reasons to be cheerful.
“Of greater cause for concern is the rise in shop vacancy rates. The increase in the number of empty shops is an unwelcome reminder of the heavy burden of property costs.”