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December footfall less than previous year

Published: 14 January 2014
Footfall across the UK in December was 2.4% lower than in 2012 and high streets reported the greatest fall, down 3.7%.
December footfall less than previous year
According to the BRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor for December 2013, the overall figure for the month was a jump from November's -2.9% and a marginal increase from the three-month average of -2.7%. On the high street, footfall figures dropped 3.8% on a three-month basis - the worst drop since August 2012.

Out-of-town locations and shopping centre footfall fell 1.2% and 1.8% respectively on a three-month basis. Certain regions suffered badly as footfall in Northern Ireland in December was down 8.7% on the same month in 2012 - its fifth consecutive drop; in Wales it was down 3.8% and south west England endured a 3.4% drop. Scotland and all other regions across England, however, reported footfall above the UK average.

The BRC's director general, Helen Dickinson, said: "These figures highlight how the rapid evolution of multichannel is changing the face of shopping, particularly at Christmas. Rather than making multiple trips to the shops over the festive period, many of us planned ahead for our gift-buying and took advantage of retailers' investment in services like click and collect so that they could cover off their festive spending at their convenience.

"We saw in last week's sales figures that the final result was respectable overall, with multichannel the 'story of the season'. These figures similarly highlight that continuing caution and changing spending habits were central themes of Christmas trading in 2013."

BRC/Springboard shop vacancy data from October last year shows at 11.1% rise in unit vacancies compared to October 2012. The worst area for this in October was in the west midlands. This follows a report on shop vacancies from The Local Data Company and the BRC/KPMG's December trading results, both published yesterday.

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