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High street footfall continues to fall in October although retail parks reported a growth, whilst overall figures suggest a slowing decline.

According to the latest BRC-Springboard footfall and vacancies monitor for the four weeks to 29 October 2016, total footfall fell by 0.4% on last year, although the reduction rate slowed from September’s 0.9% fall.

Within the sectors, high street footfall experienced a second successive drop, down by 0.4%, marginally better than the 0.5% fall registered in September.

Shopping centres continued its dismal form with a ninth consecutive month-on-month fall, down by 1.8%. Despite the decline, it was an improved figure on its 2.5% fall last month.

Bucking the trend was retail parks as footfall climbed by 1.1% compared to its 0.01% fall in September.

The BRC also reported that the national town centre vacancy rate was 9.5% in October, down from 10.1% in July 2016. The fall comes after two quarters of consecutive growth, though remains well above the January low of 8.7%.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief-executive, BRC, said: “The picture is mixed across the country – while most areas saw a decline in shopper numbers, the North and Yorkshire region showed a 0.5% year-on-year increase.

“The North and Yorkshire as well as Northern Ireland are welcoming more stores in their high streets, but the vacancy rate in Scotland has spiked to 9.2% from 7.5% in July. While this could be good in the short term for retailers needing more flexible arrangements, it also bears witness to a lack of long-term stability in many areas.”