Consumers flock to the high streets in June

The Jubilee weekend and warmer weather encouraged consumers to flock to high streets, as footfall jumped 40 per cent in June 2022, from the previous month, according to RSM UK’s analysis of the latest data from Datscha.

The ‘Jubilee jump’ was felt across the UK, with footfall levels in Glasgow (up 120 per cent), Newcastle (up 79 per cent) and Brighton (up 67 per cent) benefitting the most. There are also signs that international travel is making a comeback as footfall in London was up 66 per cent on the previous month.

While more consumers are visiting UK high streets, the latest ONS retail sales data suggests this is not necessarily converting into sales. There was a 0.1 per cent decrease in sales last month, clothing in particular took a hit, down 4.7 per cent, as consumers reduce spending in response to the cost of living squeeze.

Despite the disruption caused by rail strikes last month, footfall levels were mostly unaffected, except for in Leeds which saw footfall drop 11 per cent drop in June. As a whole, footfall is still trailing behind pre-pandemic levels, down 24 per cent when compared to June 2019.

Jacqui Baker, partner and head of retail at RSM UK, comments: ‘The significant increases in footfall last month will come as good news for retailers. The Jubilee weekend undoubtably played a big part in this, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to encourage consumers to part with their money.

‘The pressure is on retailers to create an exceptional experience for consumers from the moment they enter the store, to the moment they leave. Consumers are already having to prioritise and cut back on spending as they grapple with the cost of living crisis, so if the in-store experience fails to deliver, that will be another reason to either spend elsewhere or avoid spending completely.’

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