Footfall rises as shoppers return to UK high street

According to retail experts Springboard, footfall across UK retail destinations rose by +1.5% last week from the week before, driven by a significant rise in high street footfall which rose by +7.2%, indicating the first signs of confidence in returning to the office.

This is supported by the increase in footfall across all types of town from the previous week which ranged from +3.6% in historic towns to +12% in Springboard’s Central London Back to the Office benchmark.

In high streets the uplift over the final three days of the week from the week before was even greater, averaging +21.2% and peaking at +30.1% on Saturday. In sharp contrast, footfall in retail parks on Saturday was -2.7% lower than in the week before.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, commented: “The second week of the year delivered mixed results; an overall increase in footfall across all UK retail destinations from the week before, but a rise that was driven wholly by high streets, whilst in both retail parks and shopping centres activity declined.

“It seems that whilst the government’s Plan B guidance to work from home if possible is still in place, there are the first signs that employees are starting to drift back to the office; for the first time since mid-November footfall rose in high streets from the week before across all periods of the day, with a double-digit increase in the first part of the day, when employees travel in to offices, for the second consecutive week.”

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