Footfall in September dropped 2.4% year on year causing pre-Christmas jitters for retailers according to the BRC-Springboard Retail Footfall Monitor.
Shopping centre footfall fell 2.9%, across the high street it dropped 2.7% while out-of-town, which has experienced growth in shopper numbers over the past five months, dipped 1.3%.
However, the fall comes against a 0.5% increase in footfall last September.
All regions across the UK reported a decline in footfall in September. The West Midlands and the southwest were hardest-hit, with footfall falling 3.5% and 5.5% respectively.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Negative numbers across the UK are clearly a concern this close to Christmas, but there are a few factors at play.
“We’re comparing against a very strong September in 2012, when the post-Olympic period coupled with a cold snap unleashed pent-up demand for shopping trips to stock up on warmer clothing and back-to-school items. In contrast, this year’s milder September has slowed the uptake of autumn ranges, a trend reflected in our sales figures last week.”
Dickinson said that many consumers were remaining cautious and are “keen to manage budgets in the run-up to the festive season”.
She said: “Retailers will continue to monitor the mood and respond to customer demand accordingly as they prepare for the all-important countdown to Christmas.”