Six months of footfall decline

BHS Edinburgh

FOOTFALL in Scottish stores has been declining for six consecutive months, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium.

The latest figures from the SRC, which cover the four weeks to 28 October, revealed a 3.3% drop in footfall. The half year of declining footfall follows a three month period from February to April in which there was steady growth.

Coinciding with the drop in footfall, shop vacancy figures also increased with the vacancy rate for Scotland hitting 10.5%.

High street stores were hit particularly hard, with footfall declining 4.9%, the highest decline since April 2016. Retail parks saw a drop of 1.3%, the first drop in nine months, while shopping centres continued to experience footfall decline for the tenth consecutive month.

David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, said: “This is a somewhat dreary set of results. Scotland’s shop vacancy rate has spiked and pierced 10% for the first time in over two and a half years, whilst shopper footfall flagged once again and fell for a sixth consecutive month.

“Footfall shrivelled across all three shopping destination types – high streets, shopping centres and retail parks – and at a pace faster than witnessed over the past quarter as a whole.

“Shop vacancies have risen over the past two years and is a cause of growing concern, with Scotland’s vacancy rate now sitting above the UK average.”