Numbers down but consumers stay away
Shopper numbers fell 3 per cent year on year in May and 2.7 per cent against April, according to SPSL's Retail Traffic Index (RTI). However, the rate of decline was better than forecast.

The figures mean 10 of the past 12 months show a year-on-year decline has been recorded, with no year-on-year improvements for either of the two May Bank Holiday weekends.

For this year's May Day Bank Holiday, between April 29 to May 1, the RTI fell by 0.1 per cent against last year and over the late May Bank Holiday weekend May 27 to 29 it was 0.6 per cent lower.

However, SPSL director of knowledge management Dr Tim Denison said: 'There were a few chinks of light in the figures to signify some better news. Firstly, the year-on-year fall was better than the -4.4 per cent SPSL had forecast. Key to this was an improvement to the figures in the Southeast. Secondly, some sectors are showing strong uplifts - in particular, the baby goods and childrenswear sector is seeing a remarkable surge. In homewares and DIY, shopper numbers in May held their own with no change against last year.'