Lockdowns continue to tip the footfall scales across the country

Latest data from retail experts Springboard reveals that footfall across all UK retail destinations was -55.4% in comparison to last year.

There was a huge variance between the UK nations , however; where England saw a -59.8% decline whilst the other three nations improved to -34.3% in Scotland, -30.4% in Northern Ireland and -29.6% in Wales respectively.

Week on week there was an improvement of +5.9% across all UK retail destinations. The largest rise of +12.8% was in Northern Ireland, with increases of +3.1% in Scotland and +3.8% in Wales. 

In England, despite the lockdown, footfall rose from the week before by +6.2% with rises of as much as +8.4% in the South East and +7.6% in the South West.  The most modest increase in any part of England was +4.3% in North & Yorkshire.

Regional city centres, particularly Central London, continue to be the hardest hit by the restrictions.  The annual decline in footfall in regional cities last week was -64.4% and -80.4% in Central London; although footfall in Central London rose by +14.4% from the week before compared with just +1.8% in Outer London, +5.4% in regional cities around the UK and +4.7% in UK market towns.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard commented: “Footfall across UK retail destinations strengthened slightly in what was the second complete week of lockdown in England, with the annual decline in footfall in retail destinations in England now currently around double that in each of the devolved nations.

“Virtually all of the improvement in footfall occurred at each end of the week, with double digit rises from the week before on Sunday and Saturday, and far more modest uplifts during the working week.  It seems that despite non-essential stores being closed in England, trips to bricks and mortar stores have increased across the UK as a whole, although these were more significant in shopping centres and retail parks than in high streets.  Surprisingly, given the lockdown in England, week on week increases in footfall in English regions were on par or larger than in the devolved nations.”

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