Footfall weakened in April to -15.9% below 2019 from -15.3% in March 2022, according to the latest footfall monitor and insights report from Springboard.
It fell from 2019 levels by 18.5% in high streets, -20.3% in shopping centres and -5.3% in retail parks.
The only saving grace was the Easter weekend period during which footfall rose +9.1% week-on-week.
Despite the absence of any noticeable boost in footfall in April, however, Springboard’s town centre sales tracker identified that sales in physical stores in April remained positive, with increases from 2019 across a number of key retail categories, including department stores (+9.7%), food and beverage (+5.9%), fashion (+3.7%), health and beauty (+2.5%) and jewellery (+16.7%).
“It seems that whilst consumer activity in stores and destinations is not bouncing back to the pre-pandemic level, those consumers who remain insulated from increasing cost of living pressures are still spending, undoubtedly supported by the fact that many will have not had the opportunity to shop in-store since the start of the pandemic and have additional savings available to them,” said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard.
“The issue for retail is whether the result for April is a precursor to a contraction in retail consumer activity over the forthcoming months, as strong inflationary pressures start to hit household budgets that are forecast to become of far greater significance as we move through 2022.”