Footfall fell by 2.4% in September with all regions reporting a decline, with the mild month coming up against strong comparable figures from last year.
The drop in footfall accelerated from August, when it was down 0.9%, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard’s Footfall Monitor.
Footfall across the high street was 2.7% lower than this time last year, falling from the 0.6% decline in August. In out of town locations footfall fell by 1.3% after five months of positive growth.
Shopping centres reported the steepest decline with footfall falling by 2.9%, the 12 consecutive month of declines.
The West Midlands and the South West were hardest-hit with footfall falling 3.5% and 5.5% respectively, although footfall fell across all regions.
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.”
She added: “The sense of tentative optimism is continuing to take hold in the wider economy, but many of us remain cautious and keen to manage our budgets in the run-up to the festive season.”