Footfall across the UK was down 1.1% year on year in August with out-of-town locations the only places to experience a rise in visitors.
August’s footfall was down 0.6% on July’s figures, according to the BRC-Springboard Footfall Monitor.
Out-of-town visitors rose 2.9% year on year while shopping centre footfall was down 1.1%.
The high street experienced the biggest fall, with visitor numbers down 2.8% in August, the biggest decline since February this year.
All regions and countries with the exception of the South East, East Midlands, Northern Ireland and Scotland reported declining footfall.
BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said: “Footfall might be down slightly this month but retail sales performed well in August. Taking account of the impact of online shopping we see that customers are spending more per trip than in recent months. It seems that customers are hitting the high streets with purpose – knowing what they want to buy ahead of time, supported by online research – and doing more shopping in a single trip.
‘’Out-of-town performed better than high streets. The strong sales performance of furniture retailers, who for reasons of space tend to be located on retail parks, seems to have given a boost to the footfall figures in out-of-town locations. This is no doubt driven by increasing optimism in the housing market and customers having more confidence to spend on increasingly bigger-ticket items.
Springboard retail insights director Diane Wehrle said: “The drop in footfall in August in high streets and shopping centres – which has occurred in all but one month this year - underlines further that it is these locations that are vulnerable to the adverse effect of change that is occurring across our retail landscape as a consequence of online shopping.
“At the same time, however, out-of-town footfall has increased for the eighth consecutive month. In part the success of out-of-town locations this year is undoubtedly due to the increased demand for household items driven by the rise in house prices, however, they are also delivering an increasingly attractive wider leisure-based offer with plentiful free car parking in a safe environment.”