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U.K. Consumers Increasingly Jittery in Weeks Before Brexit

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U.K. Consumers Increasingly Jittery in Weeks Before Brexit

LONDON — Far from stockpiling essentials ahead of Brexit, British consumers have been shunning stores and counting pennies, according to the latest figures from Springboard, which measures U.K. retail footfall.
On Monday, Springboard will publish numbers showing that last month was the weakest February in the past five years, with footfall falling by 2 percent in the four weeks from Jan. 27 to Feb. 23. In the corresponding period last year, footfall fell by 0.2 percent. February also marked the 15th consecutive month of footfall decline in the U.K.
Springboard added that high-street footfall dropped by 1.9 percent, marking seven consecutive months of weakening. In retail parks, the number was down 0.8 percent, a severe decline compared with last year when it grew by 1.4 percent. Shopping-center footfall was down 3.4 percent, compared with 0.9 percent in 2018.
Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said the 2 percent decline last month was unusual given that it was the hottest February on record, while schools were closed for the usual late-winter holiday.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive officer of the British Retail Consortium lobby group, said that consumers have been cautious in their spending, and that February’s figures echo the month’s poor retail sales figures, “which

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