BRC: footfall down in July, but vacancy rate improves

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Footfall in July was 0.6% lower than a year ago, up on the 0.7% fall in June, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

High streets reported the largest decline, falling 1.7%, consistent with the decline in June, while shopping centres experienced a 0.5% decline in footfall, up on the 1.2% fall in June. Footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 1.7% increase year-on-year.


However, the UK town centre vacancy rate was 10.1%, down from 10.6% in April.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson (pictured) said: “These results are a mixed bag, with footfall easing downwards in July but with the shop vacancy rate recording its best performance since our records began in July 2011.”

“The reduction in the shop vacancy rate for the third successive quarter is heartening,” she added. “However it is still the case that every tenth shop remains unoccupied. This reinforces the need for a fundamental overhaul of commercial property taxes, which would increase retailers’ confidence about investing in new or existing retail premises and thus help rejuvenate our high streets.”

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