Every UK region posted a decrease in February footfall as the high-street continued to be hit by the popularity of out-of-town and online shopping.
It was the worst result for the high-street since its 7 per cent drop in March 2013, said the BRC/Springboard footfall monitor.
The BRC said the dip underlined the importance of business rates reform.
All regions and countries with the exception of Greater London (-2.0 per cent), East Midlands (-2.2 per cent) and North & Yorkshire (-2.3 per cent) reported footfall above the UK average of -2.9 per cent. Footfall in Wales fell by the greatest amount (8.8 per cent.)
Footfall in out-of-town locations rose 2.3 per cent which represented a slow down from last months 5.7 per cent surge.
“The high street has seen the most challenging conditions,” commented Helen Dickinson, BRC General.
Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said the more accessible parking at “star” out of town locations meant that footfall rose by 2.3 per cent.
The current business rate system was branded “an ancient tax” by former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy this month which “has not worked for years.”