The numbers of shoppers in Scotland during February 2014 have decreased by 4.1% and 1.8%, compared to February 2013 and January 2014 figures respectively, according to data compiled by Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and SPRINGBOARD.

The figures are comparatively higher than that of whole UK, where shopper numbers were down by 2.9%.

According to SRC, the numbers were mainly affected due to bad weather as footfall was down by 7.7% in February.

SRC director David Lonsdale said February saw a disappointing acceleration of the recent downwards trend in shopper numbers.

"Scottish retailers will be examining this 4.1 per cent drop in footfall carefully, and considering what steps could be taken to attract more people to town centres," Lonsdale added.

The research noted that Scottish retailers have become expert at harnessing the internet and multi-channel innovations to get through to consumers.

"However to really help the performance of Scottish high streets in particular, comprehensive reform of the near £3 billion business rates system is required in order to support retailers to invest further in improvements and local jobs."

Springboard retail insights director Diane Wehrle said with a drop in footfall of 4.1%, Scotland’s retail locations were once again less resilient than the UK as a whole, which recorded a decrease in footfall of 2.9%.

"However, in line with the UK, it was high streets – being the most exposed to the elements – that endured the most severe impact of the weather with a drop in footfall of 7.7 per cent," Wehrle added.

"Shopping centres, with sheltered environments, recorded a more modest decline in footfall 2.4 per cent whilst out of town locations – with parking that is easily accessible to shops – recorded an increase in footfall of 2.6 per cent."