retailParkThe number of shoppers fell in all retail locations bar out-of-town parks in April, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Its monthly BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor counted 0.8 per cent fewer shoppers last month compared to April 2014.

Shopping centres bore the brunt of the decline, falling 3 per cent, with High Streets (-0.1 per cent) only fractionally down on the same month 12 months prior.

Out-of-town (+0.5 per cent) has consistently outscored other retail locations over the past year, but even its rise was the lowest figure recorded since September 2014.

BRC said the national town centre vacancy rate — which scores the ratio of empty shops — fell 20 basis points to 10.2 per cent in April from 10.4 per cent in January.

“The 0.8 per cent drop in footfall across the UK in April is disappointing, however, it needs to be viewed in the context that only Easter Monday fell in April this year whilst in 2014 the entire Easter weekend did so, and so benefited from the trading advantages this brings,” said Springboard retail insights director Diane Wehrle.