Retail footfall rebounded across August

Footfall improved in August by around a quarter from -24.2% in July to -18.6% in August, with the gap from the 2019 footfall level reducing to less than -20% for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest results from Springboard’s Footfall Monitor and Insights report.

Footfall declined from 2019 by -23.5% in high streets, -24% in shopping centres and -2.4% in retail parks.

In large cities outside of the capital, the improvement in footfall in August was nearly double that in smaller high streets, putting them at a comparable level versus 2019 for the first time.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: ” Despite restrictions being lifted for overseas travel, it is clear that Brits chose to stay home for the summer which gave a welcome boost to high streets and particularly those that are attractive visitor destinations such as coastal and historic towns. In large cities outside of the capital, the improvement in footfall in August was nearly double that in smaller high streets, putting them at a comparable level versus 2019 for the first time.

“These results reflect the findings of the Springboard UK Retail Consumer Report for August which identified that 89% of consumers feel some degree of comfort in visiting retail destinations and 50% are completely comfortable in making trips. The report also found 47% of consumers visit bricks and mortar destinations at least once a week, far more than in the US where only 28% of consumers do so.

“This boost puts bricks and mortar retail in a good place at what is the start of Q4, leading up to the peak trading period of the year – Christmas. On the basis that nothing untoward occurs and restrictions are not put back in place, it appears to be a reasonable expectation that by the end of the year footfall will be just 10% to 15% below the pre-pandemic level.”

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