Autumn footfall has been the lowest since the start of the year – underperforming the start of the year, when consumers were driven away because of snowy weather – according to the British Retail Consortium/Springboard.
High streets saw the greatest fall in October, down 3.6% year-on-year, followed by shopping centres, which declined 2.9%. Footfall in out-of-town locations fell 1.2%.
Only one region – the East – saw growth in October, up 0.8% on last year.
In total the UK recorded a drop in footfall of 2.9% for the month, with footfall down 2.1% in the three months since August, making it the worst performance since the start of the year.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson described the figures as “disappointing”.
“Although recent months have hinted at economic recovery, many of us are still cautious and keen to manage budgets ahead of Christmas,” she said.
“Despite the tentative optimism in the air, it’s clear that conditions remain challenging. Retailers will be hoping that a festive boost to browsing and buying puts things back on a more even keel over the coming months.”