Retail footfall continued on its downward trajectory in January compared to the previous year, but it improved from December as consumers remained “particularly bargain-focused”.

high street

Total UK footfall decreased 2.8% year-on-year in January, compared to a decline of 5% in December, according to the latest BRC-Sensormatic IQ data.

High street footfall decreased 2.3% in January, up from a fall of 4.2% in December, while footfall in retail parks was down 1.8%, rising from a fall of 4.8% in December.

Shopping centre footfall decreased 5% in January, which was an improvement from the 7.4% fall recorded in December.

All UK nations saw a fall in footfall year on year with England recording the smallest drop at 2.6%, followed by Scotland at 2.7%, Wales at 4.5% and Northern Ireland at 6.8%.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Footfall remained on a downward trajectory in January, albeit at a slower rate than in December. Many consumers appear particularly bargain-focused, with the first half of the month boosted by the January Sales. However, the latter part of January saw fewer shoppers out as stormy weather led to a bigger footfall decline in shopping centres and high streets.

“Retail plays a vital part in every community across the country – providing the goods that we need, as well as local jobs and investment. As we move towards a higher-skilled, digitally transformed, net-zero future, there is a need for more investment in every part of the UK. It is vital the next government finds ways to unlock the full potential of the retail industry, increasing the investment needed to boost local and national economic growth.”