Business development · 17 October 2016

Online retailers take the spoils as shoppers desert high street

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Figures show that total retail spending grew in September by 1.3 per cent
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has reported a drop in the amount of shoppers visiting shops, as the UK’s high street footfall fell by 0.5 per cent in September.

According to the BRC’s footfall monitor, the latest slide in the amount of shoppers visiting high streets and shopping centres marks the fifth month in 2016 that numbers have declined.

Shopping centres witnessed the sharpest drop in custom, with footfall decreasing by 2.5 per cent since August.

Despite the decline felt by traditional shopping outlets, the BRC data also revealed that total retail spending grew in September by 1.3 per cent.

In a statement, chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickenson, said that the figures told a fascinating story, referring to the success of online retailers in the face of high street decline.

Dickenson acknowledged the changing face of retail? in the UK, and attributed the rise in retail spending to the hard work and innovation of British retail businesses who are responding brilliantly to technological advances and changing consumer habits.

As well as the continued growth of the ecommerce sector, out-of-town retail parks have out-performed thehigh street in recent years. Figures have shown that retail parks are gaining more shopping units than any other kind of location adding 1, 300 nationwide units in the last five years.

Commenting on the BRC data, Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, offered a piece of advice for small retail owners up and down the UK that will be preparing for the most lucrative trading period of year? in the run-up to Christmas.

it is critical that staffing remains strong to deliver the level of customer service required to ensure retail destinations offer a quality customer experience, she said in a statement.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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