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Footfall jumps in first week of June but stalls amid restriction delay

Footfall declined from 2019 by -27.2% in high streets, -29.1% in shopping centres and -4.1% in retail parks

Footfall across UK retail destinations continued to strengthen in June, moving to -22.2% below the 2019 level from -27.5% in May, the strongest result since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest monthly data from Springboard.

However, Springboard revealed that the gains were “largely” made in the first week of the month, which included the early spring Bank Holiday when the weather was hot and coincided with the half term school break.

In that week alone, footfall across all destinations improved to -14.5% below the 2019 level from -26.8% in the week before.

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The largest gains in footfall were made in high streets which continued to benefit from the reopening of indoor hospitality, and which improved by a third in June.

Footfall declined from 2019 by -27.2% in high streets, -29.1% in shopping centres and -4.1% in retail parks.

In the South West – which this year has been the “go to” destination for staycations – footfall was just -1.8% below the 2019 level in the first week of the month.

Springboard added that over the remainder of June footfall “worsened incrementally” each week, which it added was “undoubtedly a reflection of the lack of impetus for consumers to shop”, following the government’s announcement in the delay of ‘freedom day’ until 19 July.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, said: “The strong footfall seen in the first week of the month inevitably created misplaced optimism as over the remainder of June footfall worsened incrementally each week. This was undoubtedly a reflection of the lack of impetus for consumers to shop following the government’s announcement in the delay of ‘freedom day’ until 19 July.

“This was heightened by the continued restrictions and limitations on overseas travel, which also reduced the need to shop for summer fashion in advance of overseas holidays.”

She added: “Moving into July, however, the opportunity for bricks and mortar retail to attract back consumers is significant.The removal of restrictions set for 19 July and the greater freedoms this offers – coinciding with the school summer holiday period – is likely to deliver a fresh incentive for consumers to visit bricks and mortar destinations.”

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