By Chloe Rigby

Easter helped bring shoppers out to shop on the high street in April, according to British Retail Consortium (BRC) figures released this week.

Visitor numbers to retail stores in April were up by 1.6% compared to the same month last year, and well ahead of the three-month average of 0.7%, according to the BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor for the month.

The figures come after BRC data last week suggested a rise in both ecommerce and in-store retail sales during the week, again, thanks to the Easter effect.

This week’s footfall figures show a healthy rise in the number of visitors to the high street, up by 2.3% in April, compared to the same month last year. That’s above the three-month average of 1.4%, and the fastest growth since March 2014. Retail parks welcomed 2.7% more visitors, but shopping centres saw footfall decline by 0.6%.

Some 9.3% of town centre stores were vacant during the period, thanks to an improvement in vacancy rates in greater London.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC [IRDX VBRC], said: “The Easter holidays boosted family visits to shopping destinations in April, resulting in the fastest annual growth of footfall since March 2014. The inclusion of the holidays in this period will have distorted this figure but even looking beyond this, the picture over the last quarter has been largely positive.

“As has been the…