Retail’s first week back sees 87% footfall surge

Footfall across UK retail increased by 87.8 per cent last week after the reopening of non-essential stores.

The number of High Street visitors grew by 93 per cent, while in shopping centres footfall was even higher with a 126.6 per cent increase. Retail parks saw shopper activity rise by 35.3 per cent.

Opening day had the highest increase in footfall last week, with a total rise of 151.8 per cent on Monday 12th.

The increase in footfall dropped no lower than 69.7 per cent across the week. The lowest footfall surge came on Tuesday.

By Saturday footfall was on the rise once again with a 116.9 per cent increase.

The uplift in shopper activity last week resulted in footfall across all UK retail destinations only 25.4 per cent lower than the pre-pandemic level. It also means that the gap in footfall from 2019 has been cut by more than a half in just a week; reaching the level achieved after two months of trading following the first lockdown in 2020.

Central London saw the biggest increase at 120.4 per cent, while regional cities elsewhere in the UK saw a 116 per cent uplift.

“The first week of reopening delivered an outstanding performance for UK retail destinations and stores, with an increase in footfall from the week before that was virtually double our forecast,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director, Springboard. “These results provide concrete evidence of the desire of shoppers to return to bricks and mortar stores and destinations.”

But Wehrle warned that the key issue for retailers will be whether this momentum can be sustained.

“From our evidence of the last two lockdowns, we are expecting footfall to continue to increase over the next few weeks, albeit at a lesser rate,” she added. “However, the reopening of indoor hospitality on 17th May will provide a further boost to retail destinations as many indoor venues are located in high streets and shopping centres.”

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