The UK High Street has seen its first rise in footfall in two years last month, marking the best overall performance for retail traffic since 2013.
The number of shoppers hitting the High Street rose 0.2 per cent in January, marking the first increase since July 2013 and indicating a stark turnaround since Christmas figures dropped four per cent.
The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard indicate that retail parks remained the strongest performer for driving consumer traffic, as shopper numbers soared 5.2 per cent.
It marks an increase from the 2.1 per cent rise the previous month and the three month average of three per cent.
Meanwhile, Shopping centre footfall was flat, its best performance since January 2014 and up from the 1.6 per cent drop n the previous month.
According to the report, retail vacancies have dropped to 8.7 per cent, the lowest reported rate since BRC and Springboard began recording this measure in July 2011.
“The increase in footfall across all retail destination types, the first since December 2011, alongside the rise in spending in January, finally demonstrates what is well known – that bricks and mortar shopping environments are still important to consumers,” said Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insight director.
“The improved vacancy rate is an encouraging sign, but there needs to be caution about being too optimistic as evidence shows the driving force to be an increase in pop-ups and temporary lets in the run up to Christmas and which are still occupied.”