New official figures have shown that Scotland’s shops saw a fall in the number of visitors in the last month, but suffered less than most when compared to the UK as a whole.
According to data released by the Scottish Retail Consortium and Springboard, August’s footfall was down by 0.3 percent. Nationally, footfall was down by just under 1 percent.
However, the fall was less than the previous month. In July, Scottish shop visits dropped off by 1.3 percent.
The volume of sales was strong for the month, though – something which the SRC’s director, Fiona Moriarty commented on when announcing the data. She said:
“Shopper numbers are marginally down on the previous year, but it’s a complex comparable as the Olympics saw many of us out and about while others reduced their shopping trips to fit round watching the Games.
“The signs are that confidence is gradually returning in our high streets and town centres.”
It is welcome news for the industry, and individual retailers. Many of them are now stronger than ever before too, with a number restructuring credit lines and using alternative commercial finance, such as invoice discounting.
Diane Wehrle from Springboard was much in agreement with Moriarty. Explaining that the figures were somewhat surprising given the warm weather and sales growth, the retail insights director said:
“In overall terms, however, the results for August indicate an increasing degree of stability in the performance of retail locations.”
Retail parks also posted better results than high streets in a continuing trend.