The high street has seen its deepest decline in footfall since February 2014, as shopper numbers fell by 4.6% in April.
The latest Footfall and Vacancies Monitor from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard found that overall retail footfall fell 2.4% compared with the same month last year, although this was a slight improvement on the 2.7% fall in March.
Footfall also fell at shopping centres by 0.7% during the month, however numbers were up 1.1% at retail parks.
Meanwhile, the town centre vacancy rate rose to 9.6% compared with 8.7% in January – the first time the vacancy rate has risen since the start of 2015.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, said: “Taken together today’s figures tangibly demonstrate the impact of the structural change happening in our industry.
“It’s clear that retailers, local authorities and the government need to redouble their combined efforts to mitigate the impact of this change on our high streets and town centres.”