Shoppers avoided high streets in October and flocked to retail parks instead, according to new data out today.

High street footfall fell by 1% year-on-year, compared with a 0.6% decline in September, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard.

But footfall in retail park locations increased 2.9% year-on-year. This is below September’s high of 4%.


Meanwhile, shopping centres reported a 1% decline in footfall in October.

Overall, footfall in October was 0.2% lower than a year ago, unchanged from the decline in September.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “The locations consumers are choosing to shop remains in a state of flux. While the rate of decline in footfall across high streets and shopping centres appears to have stabilised, more and more shoppers are choosing to visit retail parks which offer a greater mix of leisure and retail.”

Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle commented: “October is fast becoming an important ‘look and compare’ month for shoppers ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is driving up footfall across all retail destinations.

“Footfall may have remained relatively unchanged for October from September, but over the last two years as the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday grows, we are seeing a significant increase in footfall for the month of October from -2.9% in 2013 to -0.8% in 2014 and this month’s -0.2%.”