Footfall declines as sales move online in December
The figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard show that footfall in retail park locations increased by 2.1% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, high streets and shopping centres saw further declines in the number of visitors with falls of 4% and 2% respectively. The decline in footfall in high streets was the sharpest since November 2014.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: "Shopper footfall shrivelled once again last month and at a faster rate than compared to the three-month average. December was the ninth consecutive month in which shopper footfall has declined, with high streets in particular but also shopping malls continuing to fare poorly. In contrast retail parks once again witnessed footfall growth.
"Retailers are having to revamp their businesses in order to respond to the profound changes in the way we are all shopping."
Footfall dropped in all regions in England in December and fell by 1.1% in Northern Ireland and by 2.9% in Wales. Footfall in Scotland edged up 0.2%.
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: "The surge in online spending in December clearly impacted heavily on traditional urban retail destinations. The catalyst was the plethora of online discounts on Black Friday which then continued throughout December."
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