Total retail footfall in the UK increased by 6.8% last month on year-on-year basis (YoY), according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic IQ.

In March, footfall declined 3.6% from February and is below the three-month average increase of 9.5%.

Footfall for high street in March rose by 8.6% YoY but declined 9.2% compared with the previous month. This was behind the three-month average rise of 14.5%.

Shopping centres across the UK recorded 8.2% footfall growth in March (YoY), but the rate was 3.5% lower compared with February 2023.

Regionally, Scotland registered the highest footfall growth at 12% in the UK during the month, followed by Wales and Northern Ireland, which recorded 9.1% and 7%, respectively.

England recorded the lowest footfall growth at 6.5%.

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By GlobalData

Total retail footfall in the UK is still behind the pre-pandemic  (Yo4Y) levels by 10.2% in March 2023.

High streets and shopping centres posted 11.5% and 20.3% lower footfall, respectively, on a Yo4Y basis.

British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Footfall remains below pre-pandemic levels, and the rate of strong recovery slowed in March.

“Households avoided big ticket purchases, resulting in lower footfall at Retail Parks, meanwhile High Streets and Shopping Centres saw strong footfall growth as these locations continued to make up ground lost during the pandemic.

“Another sign of the return to pre-pandemic footfall patterns is the return of weekend shopping, as the ongoing return to the office caused many to refocus their shopping trips back to the weekend.

“In this challenging economic environment, retailers remain committed to keeping costs low for consumers, including expanding value ranges and offering discounts to vulnerable groups. However, Government should ease the regulatory burdens that hinder industry investment into lower prices.”

UK’s high street footfall increased YoY by 8.6% in March. Credit: David Marcu on Unsplash.