March footfall shows ‘strong recovery’

Footfall appeared to recover strongly last month, with an annual decline of 28.1 per cent from a 61 per cent drop in the previous month, according to research by Springboard.

The retail data company said that it had identified a degree of “pent up demand” from shoppers for brick-and-mortar stores since the start of 2021, with March displaying this more evidently than other months. Even in comparison to March 2019, footfall has strengthened across the month in all three destination types.

But the study found that the figures were distorted by the anniversary of the first lockdown falling in the penultimate week of March.

Springboard expects a significant uplift in footfall when non-essential retail opens next week, predicting an increase of around 48 per cent in the first week and a further rise of 10 per cent in the following week.

“Retail parks continued to be the clear winners outperforming High Street and shopping centres which is not at all surprising given that food stores, DIY stores and garden centres continue to trade whilst all non-essential stores remain closed,” said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, Springboard.

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