Fashion and luxury interest fail to drive UK footfall in October
UK retail sales may have held up well in October but the fashion sector appears to struggling as the latest footfall figures show overall visitor traffic down. The result came at a key time when the weather turned cold and retailers hoped to move early autumn clothing off the racks in time for Christmas.
Specialist tracking firm Springboard said Monday that overall visitor traffic fell 0.4% year-on-year last month. That was an improvement from September’s 0.9% but still did not manage to drive footfall into positive territory.
The only physical store channel to see a rise was the retail parks sector, which rose a healthy 1.1%. It’s unclear how much a good news point this is for fashion - while retail parks used to be very much about giant supermarkets and DIY stores, they’re increasingly attracting fashion chains.
But shopping centres, where fashion is on of the dominant categories, turned inter worst performance last month with 1.8% fall in visitors. And high streets were down 0.4%.
Springboard’s insights director, Diane Wehrle said of the results: “The slight strengthening of footfall in October to -0.4% from -0.9% in September demonstrates that any worries about economic uncertainty are not yet adversely impacting footfall.
“Much has been made of the rise in clothing sales in October, however, the ongoing drop in daytime footfall demonstrates challenges in attracting shoppers to bricks and mortar stores. And whilst a boost in luxury sales due to the weak pound has been widely reported, this is not reflected in increased footfall as it is driven by higher value purchases.”
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