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Shoppers remain cautious amid lockdown easing, says Springboard

Footfall across bricks and mortar destinations increased by 3.3% between 11 May and 16 May, marking a “cautious” return of footfall, according to Springboard

The latest data from the insights group marked the fourth weekly footfall increase in six weeks, but was “more modest” than the rise of 11.7% in the previous bank holiday week. 

Despite the “cautious approach”, people still ventured out to destination towns, with footfall rising 8.7% against the week prior in coastal towns, and rising 3.8% in historic towns. High streets generally saw an increase of 1.9%, however. 

Meanwhile, footfall across retail parks rose by 4.1%. While this was lower than the 5.4% increase seen in shopping centres, Springboard notes that the opening of gardening centres on 13 May will have “likely” diverted footfall. 

The latest Springboard data also revealed that Friday and Saturday saw the largest increase in footfall, rising by 21% on Friday and by 8.7% on Saturday against the weekend prior. 

In addition, coastal and historic towns were “particularly popular” over the weekend. Friday saw footfall rise by 25.3% in coastal towns and by 19.3% in historic towns from the week before. Footfall also rose by 9.2% and 7.6% on Saturday, respectively. 

Footfall across the UK varied last week, with the largest rise seen in Wales, where footfall was up 9.1% against the week prior. 

In England, the largest rise in footfall was in the South West, where it was up by 8%. Footfall “declined marginally” in Greater London and central London, however, where it was down by -0.1% and -4.1%, respectively.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “It certainly appears that the relaxing of restrictions was well timed, as people had already started to venture out over the past six weeks.

“In fact it appears that they are continuing to heed the government’s guidance and are adopting a cautious approach with regard to leaving their homes.”

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