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West Midlands revival helps UK retail footfall in July

Staff Writer |
UK shoppers continued to desert shopping centres and retail parks last month, though high streets enjoyed a third positive month in a row.

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Total UK footfall fell 0.8% in July, the monthly survey from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard found, which was only slightly improved from the prior month's 0.9% decline and compared with a decrease of in July 2017 of 1.1%.

Britain's high streets saw footfall growth of 0.3%, the third month of consecutive growth, helped by comparison with July 2017 when there was a decline of 2.1%.

Shopping centres performed worst, down 3.4% against a weak month last year, while footfall in retail parks declined 0.5% compared to a rise of 1.7% a year ago.

Looking at the figures on a regional basis, only the West Midlands and Scotland saw an increase in footfall growth in July, up 1.6% and 0.5% respectively.

The BRC and Springboard also found the shop vacancy rate in town centres remained unchanged at 9.2% in July, though it was much improved from 9.6% a year ago, with most regions largely unchanged since April.

The most improved region month on month was the West Midlands, where the vacancy rate improved to 10.2% from 11.8% in April, tallying with two consecutive months of footfall gains. London was behind the improvement compared to last year, while the South East was among regions to worsen.

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