The number of shoppers visiting Scottish stores have slipped to the worst monthly figure since January.
In its latest Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC)/Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor report, SRC said “footfall” numbers for last month were down by 1.8% on May 2014 after a 1.1% year-on-year rise in April.
SRC director David Lonsdale added: “The sustained growth in shopper footfall has been one of the economic bright spots over the past year, and so the slight contraction in footfall witnessed in May hopefully owes more to shoppers catching their breath than anything more serious.
“Indeed, this is the first reported dip in footfall since January and only the third since this time last year.
“We also have to bear in mind that Scottish retailers are increasingly adept at harnessing the internet and multi-channel innovations to get through to consumers who might not have time to travel to the shops.
“That said, shoppers undoubtedly remain cautious – despite growth in pay outstripping inflation – and retail sales remain humdrum.
“That’s why we are looking to the chancellor to use his upcoming Budget to prioritise measures which bolster disposable incomes and consumer confidence.”
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at research group Springboard, said: ‘’The drop in footfall of 1.8% in Scotland is a noticeable downward shift from the increase of 1.1% in April.
“It is high streets and shopping centres that drove the decline, with drops of 3.6% and 4.4% respectively. Footfall in retail parks in Scotland rose for the 14th consecutive month, although the rate of increase dropped away from 9.5% in April to 5.9% in May.
UK footfall was 1% lower last month, compared with a year ago, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard.