Retail footfalls in the UK posted an annual increase of 0.8% for the month of February 2013, as against the corresponding month in 2012.

Footfall figures represent a marked improvement on figures of January 2013 with 4.6% decline, reported the British Retail Consortium.

High streets footfall for the month increased 2.7% for the month, the strongest growth seen since December 2011.

Footfalls for shopping centers and out-of-town locations however declined 1.5% and 1.6% for the month, mitigating the high street gains.

The trade body explained that the disparity was due to multiples being primarily located in shopping centers and retail parks while the high street offers the consumer a wider variety.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson termed the returns to be respectable and consistent with the gradual improvement in sales for the month.

"Even though overall footfall is only marginally up on last year, the signs are that conversion rates were good. New ranges gave shoppers a spring in their step and end-of-season promotions also proved popular," added Dickinson.

Dickinson also attributed the increase in high street footfalls to the relatively better weather in 2013.

"Compared against the widespread regional variations seen in January, it’s really encouraging to see improvements in footfall across the board. However, the link between the number of shops and shoppers is plain to see; the lowest footfall was in the North and Yorkshire, which has England’s highest vacancy rate," added Dickinson.

According to the retail trade body, the increase in footfall is the first annual increase since November 2012.