UK footfall declines by 4.1%

The number of people hitting UK shops last week dropped by 4.1 per cent compared to the previous week.

The decline was largely due to a drop in activity across High Streets of 6.6 per cent, according to the latest research from Springboard.

Retail parks and shopping centres saw a decrease in footfall of 1.3 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively, which suggests that the overall decline was related to rainy weather conditions.

All types of High Streets were impacted last week, with a drop in footfall of as much as 10.1 per cent in market towns.

In Central London, which has been the most severely impacted city in the UK, footfall remained virtually level with a dip of just 0.8 per cent from the week before, compared to a drop of 5.2 per cent in outer London.

Footfall in Central London was still 61.2 per cent lower than its 2019 level compared to outer London, where it was 1.6 per cent lower than its level two years ago.

Across the UK, the decline in footfall from 2019 was 35.6 per cent in High Streets, 27.2 per cent in shopping centres, and 1.3 per cent in retail parks.

“Rain across much of the UK for most of last week meant that footfall dipped again from the week before,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director, Springboard. “The impact of the rain was evident, with a more modest drop in activity in the enclosed environments of shopping centres and in retail parks that are easily accessible by car than in high streets.”

Wehrle said that the ongoing resilience of retail parks in retaining shopper numbers meant that last week footfall in this destination type was only marginally below the 2019 pre-pandemic level.

“In contrast footfall in both high streets and shopping centres remained more than a quarter below than their levels in 2019, however it is likely to be these two destination types that will receive the greatest boost from the reopening of indoor hospitality next week,” she added.

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