Even allowing for the adverse factor of Easter moving from March into April this year, UK figures for both retail sales and footfall have disappointed commentators, and heralded announcements of store closures from House of Fraser, M&S, Carpetright, Poundworld and others.
The BRC reports April retail sales down by 3.1%, the biggest YoY decline since 1995. On the footfall front Springboard report a decline of 3.3% for High Streets; another unwanted record, this one the biggest fall since the recession of 2009.
High Street vacancies now stand at 9.2%, up from 8.9% in January.
Footfall in UK retail markets, measured by PFM Footfall Intelligence, mirrors this gloomy picture with a steep decline of 8% YoY. Since the start of the year, market traders have lost one customer in every 10.