High streets reported the greatest drop in footfall since March last year

High streets reported the greatest drop in footfall since March last year

UK retail footfall experienced an expected dip in February as consumers paused their spending after taking advantage of promotions in January.

The BRC/Springboard footfall monitor found shopper numbers fell 2.9% year-on-year in February - down on the 1.6% rise seen in January and below the three month average of a 1.1% drop.

High streets reported the greatest fall - down 5.3% - which is the largest drop since March last year. Meanwhile, footfall in out-of-town locations grew 2.3%, while shopping centres slipped by 2.4%.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: "After the increase in UK shoppers we saw last month, we have seen a disappointing, but understandable, drop back in February. This is in-line with the low levels of growth we saw in our sales figures earlier this month.

"Our data is now building up a rich picture of how retailers created an exceptional and successful promotional period this January, but having taken advantage of those deals, some consumers have taken a little bit of a pause in their shopping in February."

Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard, meanwhile, noted the "exceptionally rainy weather" in February also impacted high streets. 

"Despite this, however, gains early on over the last year meant that high streets are on par with shopping centres over the last 12 months with a drop of 1.9% each," she added.