Footfall across UK retail destinations rose by 6.8% last week against the week before, marking the fifth consecutive week of uplift ahead of the PM’s highly anticipated ‘roadmap’ announcement yesterday.
According to the latest data from Springboard, this was only a fifth less than the rise of 8.5% in the same week last year, despite the ongoing national lockdown.
High streets were the “clear beneficiaries” in the period, with footfall up by 10.5%, a “staggering result” as it was only marginally below the increase of 11.1% in the same week last year.
Shopping centres fared worse, however, though footfall still rose by 4.5% against the previous week, down from a rise of 9.8% reported last year.
Meanwhile, footfall in retail parks rose only “marginally” with a rise of 1.2%, largely in line with the increase of 1.4% in the same week last year.
Overall, footfall rose on all but one day last week across all UK retail destinations, and rose every day in high streets. Springboard notes that the rises in activity in high streets last week were in double digits on four of the seven days, peaking at 26.7% on Monday.
An increase in activity in Central London “outshadowed” other types of town, however, with footfall up by a “staggering” 23.6%. Combined with a 12.5% rise in Outer London, the average for high streets in the Greater London region was the second highest of any part of the UK.
Despite the increase from last week, footfall across all retail destinations remains 62.1% lower than in the same week last year. However, at retail parks footfall is only 35.3% lower than last year due to their large supermarkets and essential stores.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard said: “You could be fooled into thinking that last week was a normal half term week rather than in the eighth week of a national lockdown, as footfall continued to rise for the fifth consecutive week.
“With the magnitude of increase continuing, this provides further evidence of significant pent up demand amongst shoppers to visit retail destinations and indication of the significant surge back to stores when non-essential retail reopens in the coming weeks/months.”