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High Street

Footfall remains above first lockdown levels despite poor weather

Over the working week, footfall actually rose by an average of +4.9% between Monday and Friday, reaching as much as +17.9% on Wednesday across all destinations and by +22.5% in high streets

Footfall across UK retail destinations rose by just +0.4% last week from the week before as poor weather deterred high street shoppers, according to the latest data from retail experts Springboard.

It found that there was a “noticeable increase” in visits to retail parks as footfall rose by +4.7% and 1.1% in shopping centres, however footfall declined by -2% in high streets, undoubtedly due to the severe weather.

Springboard said the week was bookended by “significant drops” in footfall across all destinations from the week before; by -15.3% on Sunday and by -6.7% on Saturday, when there was heavy rain and snow across much of the UK.

In contrast over the working week, footfall actually rose by an average of +4.9% between Monday and Friday, reaching as much as +17.9% on Wednesday across all destinations and by +22.5% in high streets.

The change in footfall from the week before varied between UK geographies, ranging from declines of -4.3% in Greater London and -4.2% in the East Midlands to rises of +7.3% in Northern Ireland and +5.8% in North and Yorkshire.

In addition, Springboard found that with an annual decline of -65.2% across all retail destinations last week (the fifth week of Lockdown 3) footfall was around a third of the level in the same week in 2020; a stronger result than in the same week of Lockdown 1 when footfall was just less than a quarter of the level in the same week in 2019.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Footfall across UK retail destinations last week remained virtually level with the week before, although this was largely due to severe weather which hit the UK, particularly at the beginning and end of the week.

“At the end of what was the fifth week of Lockdown 3, footfall was at a noticeably higher level than in the same week during Lockdown 1, with the largest differential being in retail parks.”

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