The 1.6% increase in January is the first annual rise since July

The 1.6% increase in January is the first annual rise since July

UK retail footfall increased 1.6% year-on-year in January - the best performance since December 2011 as more consumers flocked to the shops.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/Springboard Footfall Monitor, this is the first annual rise since July 2013, and is up on the 2.4% drop in December. 

Shopper numbers in out-of-town locations improved to a 5.7% increase and shopping centres reported an increase of 2.4%.

Although high streets saw footfall slip 0.6% during the month, this was "substantially" up from the 3.7% fall in the prior month.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson described the growth as "good news for retailers", and said it helps to explain the 5.4% sales rise reported earlier this month.

This, she noted, shows UK shoppers were "enthusiastically checking out the promotions available during the sales season".

While Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard, said: "This result demonstrates that whilst the growth of online retailing continues apace, retail destinations remain attractive to shoppers and that retailers' approach in delivering a multichannel offer is the right one."