MRI Springboard data reveals that footfall across UK retail destinations declined by -5.2% last week from the week before, when it had risen by +3.8% following a sunny half-term break. Despite this, MRI Springboard recorded the highest rise in annual footfall since Easter with a +6.3% increase versus 2022, which is more than three times the annual increase of +1.9% in the week before last.
Across the week, footfall was lower than the week before on every day between Sunday and Friday, with the greatest decline of -11.2% on Tuesday across all UK destinations and -15.1% in shopping centres. Although footfall was lower last week than the week before, it rose by +2.5% on Saturday as shoppers made the most of the heatwave to make trips, with a rise in footfall of +4% in high streets.
Week-on=week decreases across UK geographies last week ranged from -9.6% in the South West – where footfall had risen by +9.2% in the week before last – to -2.1% in Wales, despite a rise of +8% in the previous week.
Across the range of town types (which all recorded decreases in footfall from the week before) the largest decline of -14.5% occurred in coastal towns, which was unsurprising given the average increase over the previous two weeks of +16.1%. The exception was the MRI Springboard Central London “Back to the Office” benchmark which rose by +0.7%, however, this followed a decrease of -7.4% in the week before.
The gap from the 2019 footfall level widened to -7.2% last week from -3.4% in the previous week, and to -15.5% in shopping centres from -7.5% in the week before last.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at MRI Springboard, commented: “Following strong comparables over the previous two weeks due to the Whitsun half-term break, it was inevitable that footfall across UK retail destinations would drop last week from the week before, and this is exactly what occurred. However, despite the week-on-week drop, the annual increase in footfall last week was greater than in any week since Easter.
“Footfall declined from the week before across all three key destination types, with the largest drop in shopping centres, where the largest week-on-week rise had been recorded in the week before last. Across the UK, footfall declined in all geographies following universal increases in the previous week.
Footfall was lower than the week before on every day last week other than Saturday, when there were rises in high streets and shopping centres as shoppers made the most of the hot weather.
“Footfall declined on a week-on-week basis across all town types, although the MRI Springboard Central London “Back to the Office” benchmark rose, reflecting the return to offices for many employees following the Whitsun half term break.
“The gap from the 2019 footfall level widened once again last week across all key destination types, doubling from the week before last.”