The first day of reopening saw footfall in UK retail destinations rose yesterday by +155.2% from the same day last week, and by +225.2% in shopping centres, according to the latest data from Springboard.
It found the rise in footfall in high streets was slightly lower at +176.1% and was perhaps due to the cold weather that encouraged shoppers into the enclosed environment of shopping centres.
The rise in footfall in retail parks was more modest, although still significant at +35.9% from the previous Monday, but the level of activity in retail parks was higher than in high streets and shopping centres prior to yesterday due to the presence of food stores.
Across all retail destinations, footfall yesterday ended up just 15.9% lower than on the same Monday in 2019, which Springboard said is an “incredibly positive result, demonstrating the demand amongst consumers for shopping in bricks and mortar stores”.
In Central London, the destination that has been the hardest hit of anywhere in terms of the loss of footfall since Covid, footfall rose by +202.4% from the week before, improving the annual result to -56% from 2019 compared with more than -80% during lockdown.
In regional cities outside London footfall ended up 27.1% below the 2019 level. However, whilst shoppers were venturing out to large cities, many shoppers still stayed local with a rise in footfall in market towns of +237.2% from the week before resulting in a drop from 2019 of just -6.8%.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The first day of retail reopening was an amazingly positive result and one which finally offers retailers with some positive news.
“The strong uplift highlights that consumer demand is higher than even forecasted and shows that bricks and mortar still holds a key position within the retail sector. With footfall in shopping centres rising by +225.2% and on high streets by +155.2% on the first day of trading, the sector can finally see a visible road to recovery after a difficult year.”