For many years the high street has been a victim of shoppers’ predilection for visiting retail parks and as a result has suffered a spiral of decline as sales have dwindled.
But for the first time in many years the footfall trends show the high street performing better than the retail parks. According to Experian Footfall data retail parks experienced a worrying decline of 2.7% during July, compared with a lesser 0.6% fall recorded for the retail market as a whole.
In sharp contrast, BDO found that like-for-like sales on the high street were up by a healthy 5.8% for the week ending August 8. Admittedly these are stats from two different sources and covering differing periods but it is still an interesting trend that seems to have emerged.
Maybe we are seeing the leisure shopper staying at home for the first time, after many years of driving down to retail parks for their weekend entertainment with the family and spending the whole day dishing out the dosh on loads of disposable items.
Whatever the reason, this switch around in the fortunes of the parks and the high streets will probably be only temporarary as there are many issues that town centres and their local authorities need to address before we really see a renaissance in shopping on the high street.