RETAIL footfall in Yorkshire and the North of England was down 1.8 per cent year-on-year in February, according to the latest survey from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Yorkshire’s footfall figure was worse than the national average of a 1.1 per cent fall. Notable declines were seen in Northern Ireland and Scotland which fell 5.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively, according to the BRC.
The South West and Greater London were the only regions to report a rise in footfall, up 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively on a year ago.
The BRC said that more shoppers were heading for out or town destinations in the early evening.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “While footfall last month eased down a touch in both year-on-year and three-month totals, these relatively tepid figures do not fully reflect the changing nature of retail as an industry.
“Retailers are competing with each other harder than ever. The business of retailing is increasingly complex as technology continues to drive changes in the way we shop
“Recent policy announcements, in particular the National Living Wage and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, will increase the pace of some of these changes as well as the cumulative burden faced by retailers. We hope that the Chancellor in his forthcoming Budget will recognise both the burdens facing retailers as well as our importance to the UK’s economy and communities. The Government must support retailers.”