According to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data, total UK retail footfall decreased by -14.9% in February (Yo2Y).
Footfall on high streets declined by -19.4% (Yo2Y), retail parks by -10.2% (Yo2Y), and shopping centre footfall by -35.2% (Yo2Y).
England saw the shallowest footfall decline of all regions at -14.4%, followed by Northern Ireland at -15.5% and Wales at -17.1%. Scotland saw the steepest decline, at -17.5%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of British Retail Consortium, says: "UK footfall led the major European economies in February, as the steady return to the office increased shopper numbers in many towns and city centres. A promising start to the month was briefly dampened by Storm Eunice, before bouncing back in the final week of February, to its highest level since the pandemic began. This coincided with the easing of Covid restrictions in England. Overall, the major cities enjoyed the biggest improvements – particularly London, Manchester, and Birmingham.
“Retailers, large and small, will welcome the return of customers to their stores – a sign their innovation and investment in their physical and digital offerings is working. However, challenges remain – consumer confidence has been greatly impacted by rising inflation, while the return of hospitality and tourism will create additional competition. Retailers will need to continue the momentum to keep consumers engaged.”