summer bbq

Warm weather helped drive footfall on the high street in June, latest data has revealed.

The number of shoppers visiting non-shopping centre bricks and mortar stores rose 0.9% in June on the previous year’s rate of -3.7% - five basis points above the three-month average of 0.4%, according to the BRC Springboard Footfall and Vacancies June 2017 report.

Footfall in retail park locations grew by 2.3%, compared with a 1.0% decrease on the same period in 2016. Shopping centres fared less well, experiencing a drop of 0.8% on the -2.3% rate in June 2016.

Overall, footfall in June was 0.8% up on a year ago, leaving it ahead of the three-month average of 0.5%.

“The arrival of summer spurred greater shopper footfall in the majority of retail destinations in June,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

“High streets and retail parks saw solid growth in footfall, as shoppers headed out to renew their wardrobes and purchase other seasonal items. Most parts of the UK benefited from these sun-fuelled shopping outings, with the East of England especially witnessing brisk growth.”

However, Dickinson cautioned that sustained growth would be challenging amid “economic uncertainty and mounting concern over the inflationary squeeze on household incomes”.

The report comes as a separate Deloitte quarterly survey of 3,000 shoppers suggested consumer confidence had been dented by cost pressures.

The research, conducted from 16 to 18 June 2017, saw overall confidence fall to -10% in Q2 2017, down from -7% on the previous three months and the biggest decline in two years.

“A squeeze in living standards has dented consumers’ spirits,” said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte. “With inflation rising to 2.9% in June, its highest level in four years, and earnings growth around the 2.0% mark, consumer spending power is shrinking for the first time in three years. Consumers are not the only ones who are feeling less upbeat - business confidence has also taken a knock.

“However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that some big things are going right for consumers. Unemployment is at a 40-year low, the employment rate has never been higher and interest rates - and debt funding costs - are at rock bottom levels. Consumers are feeling the pinch from higher inflation, but the Tracker shows that sentiment about job opportunities, career progression and job security are higher than they were a year ago.”