Retailers facing reduced shopper numbers

Retailers facing reduced shopper numbers

More retailers could be seeking insolvency advice in the months ahead as new figures show shoppers are abandoning the high street.

Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows that overall footfall fell by one per cent in July compared to May.

In the last 12 months, shopper numbers have dropped by 2.6 per cent, with Wales and the West Midlands seeing the biggest declines.

Greater London, the South West and Scotland were the only three regions to see footfall increase during the period.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said decreases have been seen across all shipping locations in the last year.

"Fewer people are shopping because households are facing high inflation, low wage growth and uncertainty about future job prospects," he remarked.

"Generally, the parts of the UK where the public sector is a bigger proportion of the economy are the ones where customer spending is most likely to be hit by worries about job prospects and cuts."

He said this means people in these areas are shopping less and more retail businesses are failing as a result.

The riots that occurred in London and other major UK cities earlier this month are also expected to have had an impact on retail footfall.

While many consumers are determined to support their local businesses, some retailers have been forced to close their doors to carry out repairs, while others have lost large amounts of stock as a result of looting.

Meanwhile, retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown that consumers bought fewer goods in July than they did in the same month a year earlier.

Commenting on the government's data, Mr Robertson said: "Conditions are increasingly difficult for customers and retailers.

"Customers' ability to spend is being squeezed by rising costs, particularly utilities and low wage rises."

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