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More shops and more shoppers in July, says BRC

Retail trade is up and the number of empty shops is declining, according to a new report from the British Retail Consortium.

The Consortium’s Footfall and Vacancies Monitor for July shows shops were 0.8 percent busier compared to a year ago: the fourth month since the start of the year to report positive footfall growth.

High streets reported the greatest rise, up 2.3 percent , followed by out-of-town, 0.9 percent. Footfall in shopping centres fell 2.3 percent in July, an improvement on June’s 3.0 percent decline. 

Elsewhere, the national town centre vacancy rate was 11.1 percent in July 2013, down from April’s high of 11.9 percent.

The BRC said the warmer weather in July had a noticeable impact on shopping trends.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the number of empty shops in the UK has fallen marginally since the record high of the previous quarter.”