Shopping centre (3)

Retail footfall continued to fall in December, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), as shoppers moved online to buy their Christmas presents.

The BRC said footfall fell 2.2%, following a 2.1% decline in November, and compares with the negative three-month average of 1.6%.

December marked the ninth month in a row in which retail footfall has decreased. The High Street suffered the biggest fall (4%), which was also its sharpest fall since November 2014. Shopping centres saw a 2% drop, with retail parks, however, saw footfall rise 2.1%.

Helen Dickinson, BRC Chief Executive, said: “Retailers are having to revamp their businesses in order to respond to the profound changes in the way we are all shopping.

“This trading environment should also be considered with the impact of the industry’s regulatory burden. BRC analysis shows that the combined cost of policy announcements since the general election adds up to approximately £14 billion over the next five years. The industry will continue to make the case to government, which has extended its review of business rates to early 2016, to properly look at rebalancing this tax away from property intensive industries in order to ensure that the introduction of the living wage does not have unintended consequences on our local communities and jobs.”