Clothing shop, London
Shopper footfall unexpectedly dropped over the bank holiday weekend Reuters

UK retailers were unexpectedly hit by reduced shopper footfall over the bank holiday weekend, reports say.

Footfall at shopping centres, retail parks and high streets during 27-28 August fell 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago, the BBC reported citing research done by retail analyst Springboard. The firm had last week predicted footfall to rise 6.5%.

Diane Wehrle, marketing director at Springboard, said the surprise drop could not be solely attributed to bad weather, and suggested that a shift in focus on bank holidays towards leisure activities such as eating out could partly explain the fall.

Footfall at high streets fell by 7%, while those at shopping centres and out-of-town retail parks were 3.3% and 2.4% lower respectively.

Wehrle added that there had been a shift towards evening trips from shopping during the daytime.

UK retail sales were up 5.9% in July compared to the same period a year ago, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that both warmer weather and a weaker pound had helped boost sales.