UK footfall rises as warmer weather brings out shoppers

Latest data from retail experts Springboard has revealed that last week, footfall in UK retail destinations rose by +11% last week from the week before, driven by rises in activity in all three destination types. 

The increase in footfall in high streets of +15.9% was more than double that recorded in either shopping centres (+6%) or retail parks (+5.9%). 

Footfall increased on all but one day last week, with a very clear acceleration in activity on Friday and Saturday as the weather improved and consumers looked to make the most of the weekend; the rise averaged +6.8% over the period from Sunday to Thursday, but rose to an average of +21.6% on Friday and Saturday. 

In high streets, the uplift on each day was at least double that in retail parks and shopping centres; averaging +11.8% between Sunday and Thursday and +27.8% on Friday and Saturday.

The rise in footfall was more than +10% in all types of town centre, but the rises were greatest in regional cities outside London (+18.6%), coastal towns (+18.4%) and historic towns (+16.1%).  Even in Central London footfall rose by +16.4%, although this uplift is from a much lower base than elsewhere.

The significant increase in activity last week meant that the gap in footfall in retail destinations from 2020 narrowed to -56.5%, from -62.1% the week before. 

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “Footfall data is continuing to deliver ever clearer evidence of lockdown fatigue amongst consumers. Perhaps prompted by the announcement of the government’s roadmap to reopening at the beginning of the week, but then supported by drier warmer weather in the second half of the week, footfall in UK retail destinations rose once again last week from the week before.  Not only was this the sixth consecutive week that footfall has increased, but its magnitude was greater than in any previous week and nearly twice that in the week before.”

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