Total retail footfall in the UK slowed down by 2.9% last month on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic IQ.

The decline is also below August 2023’s figure of -1.6%.

During the month, footfall on high streets in September dropped by 1.7% YoY, representing a decline from -0.9% in the prior month.

BRC’s data also reveals that footfall in shopping centres decreased by 4.0% YoY in September, down from -3.8% in July.

Across the UK, Scotland recorded a YoY rise, with monthly footfall growth of +1.0% while Wales registered a YoY footfall drop of 1.4%.

England and Northern Ireland reported a YoY footfall decline of -2.9% and -3.6%, respectively, in September 2023.

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By GlobalData

Footfall in retail parks across the UK also decreased by 2.4% YoY in September, down from 0.0% in August.

British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “During the warmer-than-expected weather, footfall slowed in September, with fewer shoppers across all shopping locations. High streets and retail parks held up slightly better as the return to school helped increase the number of shopping visits at the start of the month.

“Retailers will want to invest in their properties in the run up to Christmas, but the prospect of a £400m increase to business rates next year will limit their capacity for improvements. The Chancellor should announce a freeze to rates at the Autumn Budget in November.”

In its monthly Distributive Trades survey, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) revealed that retail sales volumes in the UK fell at a much slower pace of -14% in the year to September.