Shopper footfall dipped during May and out-of-town locations performed better than high streets and shopping centres.
Footfall was down 0.7% over the month following a 1% rise in April, the BRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor showed. The three-month average from March to May was down 1.9%.
Traffic in out-of-town locations was up 1.2% year on year. However, it fell 1% on high streets and declined 1.7% in shopping centres.
Footfall was up 3% in Scotland but slid across England with the exceptions of London and East Anglia, which were up 2.6% and flat at 0.2% respectively. Northern Ireland was the worst performer – shopper traffic there fell 3.1%.
BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said: “While footfall saw a slight drop compared with May 2012, the month’s respectable sales growth suggests that conversion rates were good: people made fewer trips but responded well to good deals, especially on value ranges and seasonal promotions.
“Where there was a little growth, retail parks led the way and this could explain why furniture – most commonly sited out of town – was the month’s best-performing category according to our Retail Sales Monitor.”