Footfall makes marginal gains as restrictions ease

Latest data from retail experts Springboard has revealed that footfall across UK retail destinations rose by +0.5% last week from the week before, wholly driven by a +4% increase in high streets while footfall in both retail parks and shopping centres declined by -4.4% and -2.3% respectively. 

This is a significant difference from the same week in 2020, when – in advance of the start of the lockdown on Monday 23rd March – the government advised the country to work from home and not travel, seeing footfall drop by a -21.7%.

Footfall in every type of high street rose by at least +5% from the week before, reaching +7.8% in major city centres outside London. 

The impact of the easing of restrictions in Wales and schools returning in Scotland saw increases in high street footfall in both nations of +17% and +19.4% respectively, versus just +3% in England.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard commented: “Footfall across UK retail destinations continued to strengthen last week, with a modest rise from the week before.   At the same time, the annual decline improved significantly but this is a distortion created by a huge drop in footfall in the same week last year as we approached the start of the first Lockdown on Monday 23rd March 2020.”

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