According to retail experts Springboard, footfall across UK retail destinations rose by +2% last week from the week before, however, this was driven by shopping centres that increased by +6.5% and retail parks that increased by +4.9%, whilst footfall in high streets declined by -1.5%.
Footfall strengthened significantly on Black Friday, increasing from the week before by +17.9% in shopping centres and by +11.4% in retail parks. In high streets on Black Friday, however, footfall declined from the week before by -0.5%, the first drop since Black Friday started in the UK.
Footfall now stands at -17% lower than the 2019 level – a widening of the gap from the week before when it stood at -12.4% from 2019 – but more than double the level in 2020 (+102.1%)
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard commented: “The overall results for the week leading up to and including Black Friday weekend was dampened by a far weaker footfall performance in high streets than anticipated, and a drop in high street footfall on Black Friday itself for the first time in history.
“Three factors sit behind this; firstly, the large proportion of office employees continuing to work from home meant that rather than visiting high street stores during the working day on Black Friday, for those shoppers who wanted to shop in store on Black Friday it was easier to head out to shopping centres and retail parks.
“Secondly, a reduction in overseas tourists in the UK has resulted in far fewer leisure shoppers who on Black Friday would typically head to Central London, large city centres around the UK and towns attractive to tourists such as historic and coastal towns.
“The third factor was the adverse weather on Saturday, which acted as a severe deterrent to shoppers in making trips to towns and cities. However, despite these challenges, the more substantial retail offer in larger towns and cities appealed to high street shoppers more than smaller towns.”