The road between Tenbury and Leominster was closed at Leysters for repairs and had subsequently cut the amount of through traffic, but this shouldn't have have such a dramatic effect on the number of shoppers.
Perhaps it was the heavy grey clouds and the threat of rain that had put a dampener on the day.
I would be interested to hear if this was also the case in other towns? The official government statistic seem to indicate an uplift in retail spending, but this doesn't seem to be reflected locally. I did think that perhaps it was just quiet when I was in Town until I read this in the Shropshire Star.
Update 31/9/10 - See what the Shropshire Star has to say.