Footfall delivers in April

Footfall was -32.7% lower than the 2019, pre-pandemic level, compared with -55.2% in March, according to the latest data from footfall analysts, Springboard.

Footfall declined from 2019 by -41.5% in high streets, -39% in shopping centres and -7.4% in retail parks.

In high streets the annual decline moved from -65.1% in week 1 to an average of -32.3% between weeks two and four, in shopping centres it moved from -67.8% in week 1 to an average of -27.7% between weeks two and four and in retail parks it moved from -25.8% in week 1 to an average of just -0.9% between weeks two and four.

“The results for the month reflect our predictions for a substantial boost to footfall following retail reopening and is evidence of significant pent up consumer demand for bricks and mortar stores,” said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard.

“This pent up demand is also reflected in the UK store vacancy rate which strengthened in April to 11.5% from 11.7% in January. At least part of this is likely to be due to the increasing emergence of pop up stores and the trend for digital brands to bring their brands to life via physical space.

“With the imminent opening of indoor hospitality in the next two weeks, we are anticipating that the gap between the level of footfall in 2019 and 2021 will narrow further, although the extent to which this occurs will be a function of the degree to which there is a return to office working, the growth in both domestic and overseas tourism in the UK and the impact on employment of the end of the furlough scheme in September.”

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