Footfall Figures For Retailers ‘Another Good Sign For Sector’

Report Welcomed But Expert Reiterates Call For Calm


By Rob Dixon

Retailers have been urged by a legal expert to think carefully about how they approach the coming months, despite increasingly encouraging signs that the sector has well and truly turned the corner.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard have revealed that footfall at shopping sites across the country increased by 0.8 per cent in July compared to 12 months ago, which also marked a 0.1 per cent rise from June.

The release of the research has come after Office for National Statistics figures last week showed retail sales across the month were up three per cent during July from a year ago, with the estimated weekly spend reaching an average of £7 billion.

Andrew Walker, a Partner and expert in corporate recovery at Irwin Mitchell who manages teams in both the Leeds and London offices, said that the figures were positive but by no means a sign that retailers should overstretch themselves in the short term.

He outlined: “It is fantastic to see more good news for retailers, with several reports indicating that consumer confidence is on the up and that shops are enjoying a strong summer.

“However, it is also important to reiterate that businesses should not take this as a sign that the sector is truly out of the woods. We would urge companies to remain on the side of caution and ensure they are in a robust enough position to either take advantage of potential opportunities, or remain stable if tough times emerge once more.

“This will be particularly important to seasonal businesses which rely on a strong summer but often see some dip across winter. They will need to keep funds in reserve as times get tighter, particularly as the positivity in the sector does not mean that requests for extensions on facilities will be easy to come by.”

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