The number of visitors to retail parks dipped in August

The number of visitors to retail parks dipped in August

UK shopper numbers continued to fall in August, as the number of visitors to retail parks dipped below the three month average.

Retail footfall was down 1.6% year-on-year in August, down from July's 1.1% drop, and below the three-month average of -1.4%, according to the BRC/Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.

Both high streets and shopping centres reported a decline, falling 2.3% and 2.8% respectively. The latter figure is now the lowest since January, excluding Easter distortions.

Footfall in retail parks fared the best with a 1.7% increase year-on-year. This, however, is the slowest increase since May 2015 and significantly below the three-month average of 2.5%.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said the continued decline in footfall in shopping centres and on the high street is “disappointing, but not surprising”. She added: “These numbers are a clear demonstration of the continued pressures the UK retail industry is facing. We know that retailers are steadily maintaining sales but at lower prices and to fewer people visiting physical stores.”

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, added: “The probability is that in September UK footfall will bounce back from the -1.6% recorded in this August to at least equal the more modest 0.9% drop recorded in September 2014.”