Year-on-year, footfall in March decreased by 6.0 percent, a substantial decline compared to the positive rate of 1.3 per cent seen for March 2017 and the steepest year on year fall since the end of 2010, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard.
On a three-month basis, footfall fell by 3.0 percent, the largest drop since March 2013 when it fell by 3.2 percent.
Growth fell in all shopping destinations. High streets saw the biggest decline at 8.6 percent while footfall in shopping centres and retail parks fell by 4.8 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.
There was no growth in footfall for any UK regions either, most notable declines (year-on-year) were seen in Greater London, -7.5 percent, South East, -6.5 percent, and in the East Midlands, -5.6 percent.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Whilst the prolonged period of bad weather has had an impact on shoppers visiting the high street, we are seeing a longer term trend of reduced footfall which highlights that shoppers face more choice in terms of how, where and when they shop. The retail environment is changing and retailers are investing in innovation and technology adaptations in response to this.”
Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said: “The severe weather put paid to any glimmer of hope for an uplift in shopper activity in March. Hitting the week following the pay day weekend was the worst timing possible as it meant that shoppers who had available budget deferred trips.”