Despite the shortages of petrol and panic buying at supermarkets, the UK saw a rise in footfall across all retail destinations, according to the latest figures from Springboard.
Visitor numbers were up 2.7 percent over last week, with high street seeing the biggest increase of 3,7 percent and shopping centres 2.3 percent. In central London, footfall rose by 8.8 percent, a positive boost for London Fashion Week and city businesses.
With many people continuing to work from home, footfall rose only marginally by 1.5 percent in outer London and market towns.
The uplift in activity in high streets of 3.7 percent was a significant improvement from the same week in 2019 when footfall declined by -6.3 percent. This degree of improvement, alongside increases in footfall in shopping centres and retail parks, led to the gap in footfall from 2019 in UK retail destinations narrowing to -15.2 percent from -19.9 percent in the
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “Footfall in UK retail destinations last week rose last week from the week before, which is the first rise in the past four weeks and a particularly positive result as footfall declined in the same week in both 2019 and 2020. Footfall rose in all three destination types, but by far the greatest uplift occurred in high streets, where the increase was a third higher than in shopping centres and four times as great as that in retail parks.
High street footfall was undoubtedly supported by a shift back to the office, demonstrated by a greater uplift from the week before in central London and large city centres outside of the capital, than in smaller high streets and in outer London. In areas of central London with a large proportion of office rather than retail space, footfall rose by more than in central London as a whole.
The greater rise in footfall in high streets meant that the gap from the 2019 level narrowed significantly, and is now a third less than in shopping centres.”