Springboard has revealed that footfall across all UK retail destinations was 64.5% higher yesterday ( Wednesday 2 December) than the Wednesday prior, as the nationwide lockdown came to an end.
The increase in activity was seen to have occurred most in high streets and shopping centres increasing 80.4% and 133.2% respectively.
Springboard said the increase in footfall in retail parks from last Wednesday has been “less than” in high streets and shopping centres, but due to the presence of food stores and garden centres in the parks they were starting from a higher base.
Despite this, Springboard revealed the 29.5% increase in activity meant that across the UK footfall in retail parks was only 3.1% lower than in 2019 (2.9% lower in England).
It added the attractiveness of parks to shoppers reflects the fact that they can be “accessed easily” by car, and have open air features making them more Covid-19 secure and the stores are larger so social distancing is “less problematic”.
Springboard emphasised the desire of shoppers for “safety” and is reflected in the fact that smaller towns and high streets continue to see large increases in activity than larger cities. Footfall in market towns across the UK has reportedly “virtually doubled” from last Wednesday (96.8%) whilst in regional cities it has risen by around a third (32.5%).
Despite the general desire to stay local, the lure of the West End of London and Black Friday sales has been “hard to ignore” by shoppers, which was reflected in the 70.5% increase in footfall from last week.