Scottish retailers experienced a drop in footfall last month but fared better than those in most parts of the UK, a trade association has said.
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said footfall in Scottish shops decreased by 0.9% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis between May 28 and July 1 when compared with the previous month.
This is a smaller drop than the UK average fall of 1.9% in the same period.
Shopping centre footfall increased by 3.6% in June in Scotland, compared to the previous year, but was 3.7 percentage points worse than May.
Footfall increased in Edinburgh by 4.7% (YoY), whereas Glasgow saw a decrease of 7.2% (YoY).
The figures were calculated by the SRC using precise shopper numbers entering stores across Scotland through Sensormatic IQ data.
David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, said: “Shopper footfall growth in Scotland slipped into decline last month, recording the weakest performance of the year so far.
“That said, Scotland’s performance ranked second overall amongst the 13 parts of the UK that were measured, coming in only behind London.
“Shopping centres and Edinburgh were destinations that both continued to report a modest growth in store visits compared to a year ago, with figures for the latter perhaps swollen by tourism. Glasgow’s foot-traffic nudged down during the month.
“Elevated levels of inflation coupled with recent tax increases are gnawing away at household disposable incomes.
“Whilst it’s tricky to second guess what might happen next to consumer spending and visits to stores, rising mortgage rates and potentially higher taxes to plug gaps in the public finances may weigh further on consumer sentiment.”
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant for Sensormatic Solutions, warned inflation is causing stores to see a decrease in customers.
He said: “We saw the far-reaching ripple effect of April’s UK inflation peak taking hold this month, with the three-month rolling average for UK footfall in June dipping down into negative figures (-1.1%) for the first time this year.
“Scottish shopper traffic had managed to hold up in May, before marginally dipping into negative figures in June, as the ongoing cost-of-living pressure continues to impact shopper behaviour and undermine consumer confidence.
“However, with the tide of UK food price inflation looking like it is finally – and albeit slowly – starting to recede, retailers will be looking ahead with cautious optimism to July, and hoping to benefit from ambient footfall from the school holiday period.”