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Rain to blame for a sharp drop in high street footfall

Scotland's high streets suffered a sharp drop in footfall of 3.1 per cent in May, compared with a 0.9 per cent drop across all UK high streets.

Poor weather drove shoppers to retail parks, which saw a 9.4 per cent rise in footfall, well above the 3.3 per cent for the UK.

Total shopper numbers were up, but by only 0.6 per cent compared with the storming rise of 5.2 per cent in April. But that still outpaced the UK where numbers were down by 0.2 per cent. Diane Wehrle at consultancy Springboard said the rain had adversely affected high streets while benefiting shopping centres, but the month was severely hampered by the poor trading performance over the two May holiday weekends. "Heavy rain hit the UK over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, a key trading time as it coincides with the school half term holiday." David Lonsdale at the Scottish Retail Consortium said: "While footfall growth last month didn't match the giddy heights attained in April, retailers will be ... hoping that the spike in shopper numbers has translated into more transactions and an actual increase in sales."

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