Shopper numbers in the UK have declined by 0.9% in September on a year ago, up on the 1.1% fall in August and in line with the three-month average of a 0.9% decline, according to the latest data report released by British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard.

During the period, out-of-town reported the only rise, 0.5% higher than a year ago, while footfall on the high street was down 0.6% on the previous year.

Footfall in shopping centres was 2.6% down on the previous year for September, the deepest decline since October 2013.

Geographically, all regions and countries with the exception of South East (1.4%), Northern Ireland (0.2%) and Scotland (2.0%) reported declining footfall.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: "September’s footfall figures are a bit of a mixed bag. Out-of-town footfall continues to grow compared to last year which shows that consumers are increasingly confident.

"Demand for big ticket items continues to be strong with furniture outperforming all other categories. The South East also fared well showing growth in footfall for September of 1.4 per cent, which is in contrast to the slight decreases in footfall across the other English regions overall.

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"As online sales increase overall we can see how shopping is changing and retailers are adapting. The industry is working hard on providing great online shopping experiences for consumers and this too impacts footfall. However, with Christmas fast approaching footfall is only set to increase on the high street, out-of-town and in shopping centres."

Springboard Retail Insights director Diane Wehrle said: "The UK result for September belies the impact on footfall of the unusually warm weather.

"The drop in footfall of 0.9 per cent is modest and better than the drop of 1.1 per cent recorded in August, however, if the weather had been more akin to the norm for this time of year it is likely the result would have been far more favourable."