• High street footfall dropped 2.9% in February after rising for the first time since 2013 the previous month.
  • Retail parks traffic increased 2.5%
  • Shopping centre footfall declined 0.6%

Total retail footfall dropped 1.1% year on year in February, driven by declining customer numbers in shopping centres and high streets.

Shopping centre footfall dipped 0.6% in the four weeks to February 27 while high street footfall fell 2.9%. Total footfall in January had risen for the first time since 2013.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard indicated that retail parks were the only category to report an increase in footfall last month, up 2.5% year on year.

However, this traffic was still down in comparison with January, when shopper numbers soared 5.2%.

The south west and London were the only regions to report a rise in footfall, up 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. By contrast, shopper numbers dropped 5.1% in Northern Ireland and 3.1% in Scotland.

Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle said: “Visits are becoming increasingly focused out of town and in the early evening, with footfall after 5pm rising since January 2014 while dropping during the daytime period.

“The drop in footfall across the UK was driven by the decline of 2.9% in the high street, seemingly due to a tough retail trading environment, although an increase in footfall of 2.5% in retail parks reflects strong furniture and househould good sales.”