Infographic: 2015 retail footfall running ahead of last year

Data from Ipsos Retail Performance's Retail Traffic Index (RTI) shows that UK non-food retail footfall in April is expected to rise by 2.5% compared to March. According to the report, positive customer sentiment is keeping shopping footfall up on last year – although 52% of retail stores analysed for the research said this year's Easter weekend was poorer for sales than the equivalent bank holiday in 2014.

The RTI figures are derived from the number of individual shoppers entering over 4,000 non-food retail stores across the UK. Ipsos said that store traffic was up 3.8% in March versus the same month in 2014, and 6.3% higher than February's figure.

Essential Retail columnist Dr Tim Denison, director at Ipsos Retail Performance, said: "The general election is not impacting shoppers' behaviour. All the economic indicators are pointing in the right direction and the sustained increase of the RTI reflects this.

"The timing of Easter always makes it more difficult to determine the underlying trend, but we estimate that retail footfall is sitting 1.8 to 2% higher than last year, if the Easter effect is excluded."

British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG's Retail Sales Monitor, published on Tuesday this week, said that UK like-for-like retail sales in March increased by 3.2% year on year. Total food sales reportedly experienced their strongest growth since July 2013, helped by the Easter distortion, while the home categories performed well and fashion was subdued.

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Ipsos Retail Performance