High street sales dip by 3.9% due to recent cold weather
UK high street sales have reported a 3.9% decrease during March compared to the previous year as online shopping proves to be a popular alternative during the recent cold snap.
The latest figures have shown that the numbers of shoppers hitting the high street has decreased with footfall falling by 2.7%, the British retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard have said.
In response to the latest figures chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson, has said:
“The near four per cent decline in footfall on our high streets and in shopping centres is partially caused by the distortion of the timing of Easter.
“It is, however, also a continuation of a longer term trend caused by on-going structural change within the retail industry.
“Customers don’t differentiate between buying online, on a mobile device or in-store and often combine two or more different channels when they shop.
“Therefore, as well as their significant investment in digital, retailers know they also need to continually improve their physical stores to ensure an ever changing and more exciting shopping experience. The on-going decline in levels of footfall highlights the significance of this structural change.”
The trend of consumers opting to purchase their products online is set to continue. Latest figures from global market research company Mintel have shown that just over 10% of people now do all their grocery shopping online.
Early this year in an attempt to help the decline of the UK high street, during his annual budget announcement, Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to exempt 600,000 small business firms from business rates. While many small businesses face benefiting from the Chancellor’s proposals for business rates, such firms may struggle under the Governments new National Living Wage scheme.
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