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Retail footfall declines dramatically in February

The Ipsos Retail Traffic Index shows a 16.2% decline in retail footfall in February, compared with January.

When compared with February 2018, footfall was down by 4.6%, despite bleak comparable figures caused by last year’s ‘Beast from the East’ which kept consumers away from the shops.

The Index showed a 0.8% year-on-year decline in January; the lowest year-on-year decline in three years.

Ipsos reported that Brexit uncertainty was a key reason for low footfall in February and advised that half-term figures were also down by 4.4% compared with 2018.

Dr Tim Denison, retail intelligence director at Ipsos Retail Performance, said.“After gorging on the January sales, shoppers showed constraint when full price ranges were introduced in February,”

“The first week of the month was quietest in the shops since last year’s Beast from the East blew through.

“The contrast in footfall between the two months typifies the fickle nature of consumer demand in these uncertain times.

“Undoubtedly, households have more disposable income than they have had for a while, but there is an understandable reticence to take the breaks off and spend more freely in the shops.

“As in all parts of the economy, the future state of retailing will depend on how the Brexit pantomime plays out.

“For the time being, the nation and its shopkeepers wait on, nervously.”

Source : Insight DIY Team and Ipsos

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