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High street footfall continues to decline as e-commerce rules

21 July 2015 - 12:06 by Graham Miller

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Britain’s high street stores experienced another dip in footfall last month, with a three per cent drop off reported by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Shopping centres fared slightly better, but still saw footfall decline by 2.4 per cent, as the popularity of safe shopping online continues to compromise the performance of bricks and mortar stores, according to the Telegraph.

A spokesperson said that the high street is in the process of reinventing itself to cope with the expectations and habits of modern consumers. But the fact that footfall is still waning suggests that there is more that needs to be done, to ensure the future of retail stores in the UK is sustainable.

While some regions of the UK saw a greater decline than others when it comes to footfall in June of 2015, even places like London, where shopping is a key activity for visitors, saw a decline.

Click and collect is often touted as one of the saving graces of the switch to safe shopping online, since it means that people can make a purchase from an e-commerce site and then still get out of the house to visit their local store, to access the products they have purchased.

However, click and collect is not saving high street chains, since the majority of collections are carried out at out of town stores. So while retail parks are being kept afloat, shops that are based in the centre of towns and cities nationwide are less well positioned to take advantage.

Strong growth in online sales is allowing the retail market to neutralise much of the decline in footfall on the high street, but experts are hoping for further transformations, to help sustain bricks and mortar outlets into the future.