retailParkThe number of people shopping out-of-town retail parks grew at its fastest rate in over a year in July, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Its BRC/Springboard Footfall monitor recorded a 3.1 per cent rise compared to July 2014, the strongest monthly rise recorded since May 2014.

The picture was less rosy in other retail destinations, with high streets down 2.2 per cent and shopping centres by 2.5 per cent on the same month last year.

Together, they dragged the overall footfall result to a 1.1 per cent year-on-year decline. Despite falling footfall, there was better news regarding the number of empty shops, with the town centre vacancy rate declining 40 basis points to 9.8 per cent.

The BRC’s director general Helen Dickinson said high street administrators up and down the country had been working hard to meet the challenges of structural change regarding the role of the traditional high street.

“Despite this the vacancy rate has remained stubbornly high; the dip below ten per cent for the first time may be indicative of successful attempts to reshape Britain’s high streets in some locations,” she said.

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