February Footfall jumps as lockdown roadmap boosts consumer confidence

Retail Footfall in UK retail destinations rose by +16% between January and February 2021, according to insights provider Springboard.

This marks the largest month on month increase for February since Springboard’s footfall data became available in 2009.

Year-on-year, bearing in mind February 2020 was the last full month before the UK’s first lockdown, footfall strengthened in February to an annual decline of -61%, up from -65.6% in January.

Footfall rose between January and February 2021 in all three destination types, but the largest increase was in high streets (+18%) , followed by retail parks (+16.7%) and shopping centres (+11.7%).

“This is clear evidence of a growing lockdown fatigue, with shoppers becoming increasingly keen to visit bricks and mortar destinations as a leisure activity, despite non-essential stores remaining closed until April 2021,” commented Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle.

“This is likely to be a combination of increased optimism following the announcement of the roadmap to reopening and the success of the vaccine programme, which reinforces Springboard’s forecast for a significant uplift in footfall in retail destinations of +47.9% in the first week of reopening on 12th April 2021.

“Even with increased consumer confidence generated by the success of the vaccine programme, retailers will have a significant amount of ground to make up if they are to recover to anywhere near pre-Covid levels, reinforcing the need for the High Street Restart Grants to support retailers announced by the Chancellor in the Budget.”

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