The North East leads retail’s recovery

The latest figures from Ipsos’ Retail Recovery Index have revealed that shoppers in the North East of England were the most eager to return to stores in the first week after non-essential retail re-opened.

Regional breakdown (vs same week in 2019)
North East   -15.4%
West Midlands   -19.8%
East Midlands   -22.1%
North West   -27.3%
Eastern England   -30.5%
Wales   -30.7%
South East   -32.4%
London   -32.5%
South West   -33.2%
Yorkshire and Humberside   -35.5%

Despite the North East leading the way in its footfall recovery, the retail centres seeing the best bounce-back were more evenly spread across England. Worcester saw the biggest recovery across the country, closely followed by Romford, Derby and Wolverhampton.

Central London locations suffered the worst footfall comparisons, with the City of London down -58.8% and the West End -45.6% on the same period in 2019. Aside from Central London, other places hardest hit included Oxford (-41.9%), York (-41.5%) and Cambridge (-37.3) – all important tourist destinations.

Dr Tim Denison, head of retail analytics and insights at Ipsos, said: “Our Retail Recovery Index shows the huge appetite for shoppers to return to their local high streets after a difficult period of lockdown. The North East and West Midlands have seen a strong recovery, particularly driven by footfall in cities such as Worcester, Wolverhampton, and Middlesbrough.

“The success of these locations, shows clearly that shoppers are continuing to get their retail therapy in their local area and have not yet been drawn back to the UK’s major retail destinations like London, Manchester and Birmingham.”

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