High Street feels the Bank Holiday blues

Ben Parfitt

MCV sister site PC Retail reports that of the 3,100 stores that make up The Retail Traffic Index, 73 per cent said they had suffered a year on year decline or were neutral in revenues this bank holiday, according to research group SPSL.

The number of shoppers declined by approximately 9.8 per cent in comparison to last years figures. For the bank holiday Monday retail footfall was down 9.7 per cent. Just 27 per cent registered an increase in money taken.

“We feel that there are a combination of reasons for the poor shopper turn-out this weekend," according to Dr. Tim Denison, director of knowledge management at SPSL.

"Without doubt, the first good weather for some weeks will have tempted people to be outdoors, making the most of it, many choosing to follow recreational pursuits other than shopping.

"Secondly we believe that this weekend’s figures provides another sign of the long-awaited consumer tipping point, which retailers have been working so hard to stave-off.

"Thirdly, most of the Sales which retailers have been holding to dispose of their stock piles and maintain a shopping momentum have now come to a close.

“Whatever the exact balance between these factors, these latest figures will not be good news for retailers after a tough summer for many. In July we saw retail footfall fall below its 2006 level for the first time in six months with a 1% decline.

"Going forward we cannot discount the impact of rising interest rates, taxes and household bills against a background of subdued wage increases.”

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