UK footfall in March fell by 6% compared to the same period in 2017, latest figures from the BRC reveal.
The drop in numbers for the five weeks to 31 March was the sharpest decline since the end of 2010, and contrasts with a 1.3% rise in 2017 from the previous year.
The biggest drop was recorded in Greater London, which saw a 7.5% decline, followed by the South East with a 6.5% fall and East Midlands which posted a 5.4% drop. No UK region posted a rise in activity.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC said: “Whilst the prolonged period of bad weather has had an impact on shoppers visiting the high street, we are seeing a longer term trend of reduced footfall which highlights that shoppers face more choice in terms of how, where and when they shop.
“The retail environment is changing and retailers are investing in innovation and technology adaptations in response to this.”
According to Diane Wehrle springboard marketing and insights director at BRC, the bad weather in March meant that shoppers who had available budget deferred trips.
She said:“Throughout the month we were able to track the impact on footfall each day as adverse weather moved across the UK. Comparing the weekly trend with annual change in footfall enables us to see the fundamentals underlying shopper activity.”