An early Easter and bad weather conditions deterred shoppers from the high street in March, as footfall fell 2.7% compared with the same month last year.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor found the decline in March was lower than the 1.1% fall in February. On a three-month basis footfall declined 1% during the month.
High street footfall declines 3.9% in March – lower than the 2.9% decline in February – while footfall in retail park locations increased 1.6% year-on-year, down from the 2.5% rise in February.
Meanwhile, shopping centre footfall declined by 3.7% in March, significantly below the 0.6% decline reported in February.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, said: “The near 4% decline in footfall on our high streets and in shopping centres is partially caused by the distortion of the timing of Easter.
“It is, however, also a continuation of a longer term trend caused by on-going structural change within the retail industry. Customers don’t differentiate between buying online, on a mobile device or in-store and often combine two or more different channels when they shop.
“Therefore, as well as their significant investment in digital, retailers know they also need to continually improve their physical stores to ensure an ever changing and more exciting shopping experience.”