shopping bag

Shoppers in the UK are continuing their “no splurge” attitude despite returning to stores in higher numbers in March, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Figures published by the organisation showed footfall to be up 1.4% compared with March last year, when the number had dropped 6%.

Footfall at the High Street rose 2.5%, while retail parks saw a 1.5% increase. Shopping centres, however, saw the number of shoppers visiting fall 1% compared with the previous year.

Springboard, which carries out the research alongside the BRC, said shoppers were showing “prudence”, adding that we “continue to be in the midst of a no-splurge culture”.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “This becomes very obvious when looking at footfall in each week; with the month being bookended by two strong weeks, while footfall plunged in the middle three weeks.”

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Retailers will be relieved to see footfall up from last year though this is was heavily influenced by the weather: while shoppers in 2018 were contending with the ‘Beast from the East’, this March has been mild by comparison.

“Unfortunately, the higher footfall has not translated into higher spending.”