The data, which covered the five weeks from 28 February to 3 April 2021, showed that the footfall drop in March was above the three-month average decline of 72.3%.
Northern Ireland reportedly saw the shallowest footfall decline of all regions at 56.4%, followed by Scotland which dropped to 66.3% and England at 68.7%. However, Wales saw the deepest decline at 71.2% on a year-on-two-years basis.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of BRC, said: “The earlier Easter date also gave consumers a reason to do a little extra food shopping, with strong demand for chocolate and Easter Eggs leading to extra store visits.
“Non-food retail stores will have lost £30bn in foregone sales over the three lockdowns. It is essential they are able to trade effectively from April 12, and remain open. Savings have been building up over lockdown, and the economic recovery relies on retailers being able to unlock the pent-up demand in the economy.”
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, suggested that improvements in March footfall was fuelled by growing consumer confidence, “the promise of greater freedom to come and the relaxation of the Stay At Home guidance.”
He added: “Having invested heavily to ensure their stores remain as safe as possible for shoppers to return, the onus is now on the consumer to vote with their feet and ‘use or lose’ the shops they previously frequented.”