16 May 2017 - Janet Bird
More people ventured out to the shops in April than at any time in the last three years, new figures have revealed.
Data from the BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor showed footfall was up 1.6 percent compared to the same period last year, contributing to the first positive quarter since May 2014.
Footfall grew at its fastest rate since 2012, although this is likely to be due to the timing of Easter this year.
High street footfall was up 2.3 percent in April, while retail parks showed a 2.7 percent growth in shopper numbers. Shopping centres, however, saw a 0.6 percent fall in footfall.
There was good news too when it came to retail vacancy rates, which fell from 9.4 to 9.3 percent in April. This reduction in the number of vacant premises was largely due to sharp declines in the number of empty stores in Greater London and the East, which offset an increase in vacancy rates elsewhere in the country.