The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said high streets had seen the biggest drop in footfall over the past 12 months, at -2.6%, compared with the overall average of -1%. The hardest hit locations were Wales (-9.2%), the West Midlands (-6.6%) and the East of England (-6.2%). Greater London saw the biggest rise in footfall (up 1.6%), while the South West and Scotland experienced nominal rises.
The national town centre shop vacancy rate stands at 11.2%, with Northern Ireland recording the highest rate of vacancies at 17.1%.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "In July all types of shopping locations saw reduced footfall year on year, and that was before the effect of the recent civil disturbances in England."
He added: "Fewer people are shopping because households are facing high inflation, low wage growth and uncertainty about future job prospects. But that's slightly offset by hard-up customers spreading their spending over more but less costly shopping trips."