Retail footfall in the UK decreased by 14.2% last month from three years earlier, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic IQ.
Total footfall was 3.7% lower than in June and exceeded the three-month average decline of 12.3%.
The BRC data also revealed that High Street footfall fell by 15.9% from three years previous and was 2% lower than the previous month.
In addition, footfall in shopping centres decreased by 24.8% on a year-on-three-years basis, but was above the three-month average decline of 25.1%.
On a regional basis, Northern Ireland recorded the shallowest decline in footfall at -12.3%, while England and Wales saw -14.0% and -15.8% respectively. Scotland reported the highest decrease at -16.5%.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said: “Following four months of steady progress, UK footfall stalled in July as record temperatures and the rising cost-of-living deterred people from visiting local shops.
“There was some respite in the last week of July, ahead of the Women’s Euros finals, as people stocked up on food and drink to watch the Lionesses bring football home.
“Meanwhile, footfall in Northern Ireland bucked the UK trend and improved slightly on the previous month.”
Sensormatic IQ Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) retail consultant Andy Sumpter said: “July delivered a smorgasbord of summer disruption for retailers, as the ongoing rail strikes derailed footfall gains and the UK’s record-breaking heatwave saw shoppers shun the shops for several days as the temperatures soared.
“Add to this the ongoing cautiousness we’re seeing among the cost-of-living consumer, it made for a bumpy month for shopper traffic performance.”
Earlier this month, the BRC reported that overall retail vacancy rates in the UK had fallen for the third consecutive quarter.
The vacancy rate dropped to 14.0% in the second quarter (Q2) of the year, but were up by 0.1% from the previous quarter (Q1) and 0.5% from the same period of last year.