Overall footfall in September drops 2.4 per cent compared to last year as 'consumers manage budgets in run-up to festive season'.

Pre-Christmas caution brings drop in September footfall, says latest BRC results

Pre-Christmas caution has driven overall footfall in September down 2.4 per cent compared to one year ago, according to the latest figures from British Retail Consortium.

Having seen strong results in 2012 following the success of the Olympics and the colder weather forcing consumers to begin their autumn ranges shopping earlier, this September has seen High Street footfall drop 2.7 per cent compared to last year. Out of town shopping fell 1.3 per cent.

Footfall in shopping centre locations has also taken a knock, falling 2.9 per cent, the 12th consecutive month to report a decline in footfall.

While all regions and nations reported a decline in footfall in September, the West Midlands and the South West were hardest hit with footfall falling from 3.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.

The reason for the drop has largely been attributed to consumer pre-Christmas caution as spenders manage their budgets in the run up to the festive season.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium director general, said: "Negative numbers across the UK are clearly a concern this close to Christmas, but there are a few factors at play.

"We are comparing against a very strong September in 2012, when the post-Olympic period coupled with a cold snap unleashed pent-up demand for shopping trips to stock up on warmer clothing and back to school items.

"In contrast, this year’s milder September has slowed the uptake of autumn ranges, a trend reflected in our sales figures last week.

"The sense of tentative optimism is continuing to take hold in the wider economy, but many of us remain cautious and ken to manage our budgets in the run-up to the festive season. Retailers wil continue to monitor the mood and respond to customer demand accordingly as they prepare for the important countdown to Christmas."

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