Number of shoppers continues to fall on high street in spite of January sales
The high street again saw less people shopping there despite the lure of the January sales as recent figures revealed footfall had dropped 0.9 per cent last month compared to the corresponding month in 2011.
More shoppers than ever are heading for out of town retail parks which is putting more pressure on a hard pressed high street. Those figures tend to indicate supermarkets and out of town retail parks enjoyed the bulk of the surprise 0.9 per cent rise in sales volumes in January which were announced last week by the Office for National Statistics.
The figures revealed December was an excellent month for the high street where they enjoyed a 5.1 per cent increase in traffic. However retailers had brought forward some of their special offers to maximise their turnover before Christmas diluting the impact on the high street for the January sales. Worryingly the report also found an average of 11 per cent of town centre shops were boarded up in January 2012.
Director General for the British Retail Consortium Stephen Robertson admitted the condition of many high streets was "still bleak". He said: "Worries about personal finances and job security are putting people off shopping. Although inflation has started to ease, costs are still rising faster than wages."
"At the start of 2012, footfall numbers dipped again, showing underlying caution hasn't changed"
Research director for Springboard, Diane Wehrle , said out-of town shopping was growing in popularity because consumers were fed up with car-parking charges.
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