Retail footfall in the UK decreased by 15.4% year-on-three-years (Yo3Y) last month, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). 

The figure represents a slight improvement of 1.2% from February and is above the three-month average drop of 15.9%.

The BRC data also revealed that High Street footfall declined by 17.8% in the month (Yo3Y) but was 3.1% above the rate registered last month.

In addition, footfall in shopping centres was down by 35.8% Yo3Y, but still higher than the three-month average decline of 38.9%.

On a regional basis, Northern Ireland saw its footfall decline by 14.5%, while footfall in England declined by 14.9%.

Wales reported an 18.8% drop in footfall for the month, while Scotland reported the sharpest decline at 21.1%.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “March saw another gradual improvement to footfall levels across the UK.

“As the first full month without coronavirus restrictions in England and Northern Ireland, consumers were able to shop with a greater sense of normality, spurred on by some spring sunshine.

“While all UK shopping locations enjoyed higher footfall levels than earlier in the pandemic, shopping centres saw a significant improvement for the first time in 2022, as shoppers browsed multiple stores in preparation for the summer season.

“There are many challenges on the horizon as consumer confidence fell to its lowest levels in 16 months.

“Consumers are now feeling the effects of rising living costs, increased food and fuel prices, and are also anticipating higher energy prices from 1 April.

“The impact on retail footfall and retail sales across both stores and online is yet to be seen, but as belts continue to tighten and prices continue to rise, it will be a difficult road ahead for consumers.”

Last month, data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that retail sales in the country fell by 0.3% in February.