Retail footfall leaps as shoppers take full advantage of lockdown lift

The latest data from retail experts Springboard has revealed that footfall across all UK retail destinations increased by +40.3% last week from the week before, with a rise of +61.1% in shopping centres, +40% in high streets and +19.1% in retail parks. 

The analytics firm said that these results actually underplay the extent of uplift in footfall following the reopening of retail stores in England on Wednesday, which averaged +62.6% across all retail destinations but +93.1% in shopping centres. 

“The first week of the reopening of non-essential retail stores in England delivered a significant rise in footfall across all retail destinations last week compared with the week before, but particularly in shopping centre,” said Springboard insights director, Diane Wehrle.

“This is not an unexpected outcome, as shoppers tend to gravitate towards shopping centres in the run up to Christmas as they host the greatest number of stores in a single location, which also tend to be larger stores with a wider choice of products to choose from. The most modest rise in footfall occurred in retail parks, but these locations have been the most resilient of all three destination types in retaining footfall, and so started from a higher base.

“It appears that extended trading hours are helping a little.  Whilst the hours post 6pm only generally account for around 30% of footfall across a 24 hour period, there was a marginally greater rise in footfall post 6pm than during day time trading hours of 9am to 6pm. Despite the rises in footfall over the week, recovery from the decline that has occurred since the start of the first lockdown is still a way off, with the volume of customers in bricks and mortar destinations remaining far below the level recorded in 2019.”

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