Ipsos Retail Performance has released its latest monthly report forecasting footfall in UK retail environments, forecasting the changes across the regions of the UK for the month of July.
Summer time is at its peak and retail traffic is following the lead of the rising temperature. As the weather improves, more consumers take to the streets, consuming higher level of experiential goods and new clothing for the summer. This was apparent in the Month-on-Month change in June, where footfall increased by 10.4% in the UK overall. There were regional variations, London & the South East and Scotland & Northern Ireland performing above average and Northern England, the Midlands, and South West England & Wales performing below but all regions experienced increase in footfall last month. However, when compared to last year, the figures do not look that rosy as the Y-o-Y change shows that footfall decreased by 1.4% overall in the UK, with all regions experiencing decline apart from London and the South East.
The monthly increase in footfall, however, is expected to follow its path from the previous month, with a predicted UK average of 8.2%. The South West and Wales, London and the South East, and the Midlands are expected to perform above average, each expected to experience a monthly increase in footfall of 3.5%, 1.4%, 1.7% above average accordingly. The brick and mortar retailers in Northern England and Scotland & Northern Ireland are also forecast to experience an increase in footfall, however, below the national average by 1.8% and 3.8% accordingly.
As the weather is at its peak this month throughout the year and the season of summer sales has returned, footfall across the UK is expected to increase in July. However, as consumer confidence is in a downward trend since the Brexit referendum last year, retailers should not take for granted of this hopeful forecast. The continuation of the North-South footfall divide, furthermore, is still expected, following the macroeconomic trends and the structural divide.
By SJ Seung Jun Oh, Retail Research Intern at Bayfield Training