Political uncertainty and economic instability contributed to a dip in retail footfall, with high streets being hit the hardest.
Across the UK as a whole, there was a marked decline in footfall for retailers by 2.3 per cent last week, New figures from Springboard show.
The data shows in the three retail sectors, high streets, retail parks and shopping centres, footfall had all dropped, though some were worse hit than others.
High streets were down 3.3 per cent while retail parks 1.5 per cent, and shopping malls 0.7 per cent.
This comes as the impact of the mini-budget and the cost of living crisis forces inflation and interest rates up, as millions worry about mortgage payments.
Energy and food bills are also increasing while wages stagnant, leading to many tightening their belts and watching their spending more closely.
The footfall figures are up from the post-pandemic 2021 period from October by 5.9 per cent, but still well down on pre-coronavirus levels, by -11.1%.
‘The most evident” cause for the decline in consumer spending “is the squeeze on household incomes as a consequence of inflation and increased mortgage rates”, said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.
“This, mixed in with the current political uncertainty, inevitably makes consumers cautious and then rail back on shopping trips.”
“Footfall across UK retail destinations dipped noticeably and comprehensively last week; not only were there declines from the week before on all but two days when it rose marginally, but footfall was lower than the week before across all three key destination types and across all UK geographies bar one.”
In separate figures released by Ipsos for retail footfall from 17-23 October, footfall fell by more than 17 per cent from 2019 in the non-food sector, while it was down 4.4 per cent from the previous week.
IPSOS said there had been a staggering 15 per cent drop in high street footfall from 2019 and almost 20 per cent in shopping centres.