Footfall in December was 1.2% lower than a year ago on the UK High Street, a poorer performance than the 0.4% rise seen in the previous month, according to data from the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC)/Springboard survey.
As opposed to the trend evident in the yearly data, in December footfall weakened by the most in shopping centres (-2.8%), followed by out-of-town (-1.0%) and High Street (-0.5%) locations.
The hardest-hit parts of the UK in December were Wales (-11.5%), the East of England (-7.1%) and the North & Yorkshire (-4.8%).
Nevertheless, on a month-on-month basis footfall rose considerably in all locations. Shopping centres increased 19.5% followed by High Street (8.8%) and out-of-town (7.3%) locations.
As well, it appears that conversion rates were good.
Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium (BRC) Director General, said: ‘It wasn’t a bumper Christmas but it wasn’t a disaster either. Our December retail sales figures showed very modest sales growth for the market as a whole.’
Of interest, Dickinson highlighted the growing popularity of the ‘click-online and collect-in-store’ model.
Lastly, she added, ‘the Government should help erase the pain with a business rates freeze in April. Another steep rise can only lead to fewer jobs, less investment and more troubled high streets.’