Footfall falls again in August

Shoppers

Footfall in Scottish stores fell again last month, although the rate of decline has slowed from July.

Figures from the latest SRC/Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor reveal that in August, overall footfall numbers in Scotland were 1.5% lower than a year ago, up on the 2.4% fall in July 2015. This is above the UK average for the first time in four months and significantly above the three month average rate of -2.1%.

Nationally, footfall in August was 1.6% lower than a year ago, down from the 1.1% fall in July. This was below the three-month average of -1.4%.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said: “The significant and long term pressure on high streets and shopping centres in Scotland continued in August, with drops in footfall of 3.6% and 4.9%, continuing a four month downward trend in high streets and a 12 month downward trend in shopping centres.”

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said that weak demand coupled with rising cost pressures was making life challenging for a number of retailers. “Lots of empty units can put off shoppers and so it is crucial that more is done to drive vacancies down, and the public sector can play its part by removing or reducing barriers which can stifle investment in retail destinations.”