Scottish Daily Mail
Shoppers are still snubbing high streets
THE number of shoppers on Scotland’s high streets has slumped for the sixth month in a row as retailers prepare for the crucial Christmas season.
Figures published today show a 0.6 per cent decline in ‘footfall’ in October, compared to a 0.2 per cent fall across the UK.
It is thought more Scots are now shopping on the internet.
The figures have sparked calls for Chancellor George Osborne and Finance Secretary John Swinney to end ‘the relentless rise in Government-inspired cost pressures’.
Mr Osborne is due to unveil his Autumn Statement on November 25, while Mr Swinney’s 2016 Budget is on December 16.
The Scottish Retail Consortium wants the Scottish Government to overhaul the £2.8billion business rates system.
Director David Lonsdale said: ‘Scotland’s retailers are increasingly adept at harness-
‘Relentless rise in cost pressures’
ing the internet and multi-channel innovations to get through to consumers who might not have time to travel to the shops.
‘With the clock ticking down towards the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and the Finance Secretary’s Scottish Budget in a few weeks’ time, retailers will be looking for convincing action to bolster consumer confidence and also stem the relentless rise in Government-inspired cost pressures.’
He said these include the new higher minimum wage, business rate rises and higher employer pension contributions.
Footfall is calculated every month by Springboard, which carries out more than 60million counts each week at 600 locations in nearly 150 UK towns and cities.
Today’s figures also show 8.7 per cent of Scotland’s shops are empty, a fall from 10.6 per cent in the previous quarter.