Trips to the shops fall at sharpest rate in months

Empty-Shops The high street is having a tough time, thanks to people preferring to buy things on the internet where you can avoid queues, not talk to anyone, and browse hundreds of shops at the same time without having to traipse.

Well, with that, you shouldn't be surprised that the number of people getting down the shops fell at the steepest rate in nine months in August. The British Retail Consortium (BRC)/Springboard footfall monitor said 1.6% fewer shoppers went to actual shops last month, which is the largest drop since the 2.4% dip last November.

Aside from the joy of not dealing with humans on the internet, what else could be the problem? Well, the BRC said that they want the government to reduce the "financial or regulatory burdens" on retailers. One of those burdens is the living wage, which will prove controversial to some.

Another reason we all didn't go shopping was August's public holidays. Of course, the weather was blamed too, with people preferring to bugger off on holiday, rather than get themselves down the town. Although, Britain has always had rubbish weather and bank holidays, so that seems like a bit of a stretch to us.

This footfall report said trips to shopping centres fell last month by 2.8%, with footfall on the high street dropping by 2.3% in August.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "The continued decline in footfall in shopping centres and on the high street is disappointing, but not surprising. These numbers are a clear demonstration of the continued pressures the UK retail industry is facing. We know that retailers are steadily maintaining sales but at lower prices and to fewer people visiting physical stores."

"As we start the long march to Christmas, retailers will want to see an increase in shopper numbers in all store locations. Most will also be hoping for a decrease in any financial or regulatory burdens heading their way from government."

"These only make the job of getting the right products to UK consumers at the right price harder at a time when the hurdles to running a successful retail business are high enough."

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