Weekend shopping is seeing a revival as more people return to working in offices during the week, according to a UK retail group.

The number of shoppers visiting stores at the weekend rose 9.7% in March from a year earlier, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said.

However, the BRC said footfall remained below pre-pandemic levels, and the recent recovery in numbers had slowed.

Scottish retail footfall has also improved, but still remains 10% below pre-pandemic levels,

Households' finances are still being squeezed by soaring prices. Inflation - the rate at which prices rise - jumped to 10.4% in the year to February, close to a 40-year high.

The overall number of shoppers visiting stores is still down 10.2% from pre-pandemic levels, the BRC said, with consumers and businesses facing a "challenging economic environment".

However, the ongoing return to the office has caused many people to "refocus their shopping trips back to the weekend", BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, added: “Scotland was the best-performing nation or region within the UK in March with shopper footfall up by an eighth on last year.

“However, retailers will need to wait a little before breaking out the bunting as this uptick was swollen by the weak comparable given lingering Omicron restrictions on shops and eateries remained in place for much of March 2022.

“While visits to stores continue to improve, especially in shopping centres, this was the weakest overall rate of footfall growth witnessed since October.

“Despite the improving picture shopper footfall remains a tenth below pre-pandemic levels.”

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