Retail footfall in July was 0.6% lower than a year ago, up on the 0.7% fall in June, according to the latest data report released by British Retail Consortium (BRC) and SPRINGBOARD.

During the period, high streets reported the largest decline falling 1.7%, consistent with the decline in June, while in out-of-town locations footfall fared the best with 1.7% increase year-on-year.

Shopping centres experienced 0.5% decline in footfall, up on the 1.2% fall in June. Scotland reported the greatest rise in regional footfall, up 4.4% year-on-year.

The national town centre vacancy rate in the UK was 10.1% in July 2014, a decrease from April’s rate of 10.6%.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: "These results are a mixed bag, with footfall easing downwards in July but with the shop vacancy rate recording its best performance since our records began in July 2011.

"The reduction in the shop vacancy rate for the third successive quarter is heartening, with the vacancy rate at its lowest level since our records began in July 2011."

Springboard retail insights director Diane Wehrle said: "Whilst footfall continues to decline, the improvement in vacancy rates – which has occurred for the third quarter in a row – indicates a growing flexibility and responsiveness of landlords in the face of tough trading conditions, which has increasingly included the introduction "pop up" shops and temporary lets."