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High Street

Footfall set to spike amid ‘Freedom Day’

Springboard noted that footfall will peak over the course of this coming weekend, with rises of 32.2% on 23 July and 39.5% on 24 July

Footfall across the UK is set to rise by 19.7% this week in the wake of ‘Freedom Day’, according to the latest data from Springboard.

It comes as restrictions are set to be lifted in England from today (19 July) onwards. According to Springboard, whilst the removal of restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will “not be as comprehensive” as they will be in England, there will be an uplift in overall activity as England accounts for 85% of UK footfall.

Springboard noted that footfall will peak over the course of this coming weekend, with rises of 32.2% on 23 July and 39.5% on 24 July. 

Over the course of the week, footfall across all UK retail destinations is predicted to be only 20.1% below the same week in 2019.

Springboard noted that the “magnitude” of the increase in footfall is expected to vary across the three key retail destination types. High streets are predicted to witness a 25% increase, largely supported by the full opening of hospitality venues, 

Shopping centres meanwhile are expected to rise by 18% over the week, with Springboard noting the rise is “more modest” due to a lack of active evening and late night economy. 

Retail parks are expected to see the lowest rise at 10%, however, as “customer numbers in these destinations have already bounced back to a greater extent than in the other two destination types”. 

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The long awaited ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday will see footfall bounce back across the UK, to a more significant magnitude than when indoor hospitality reopened in May, with rises seen across all three retail destinations. 

“With summer holiday commencing and many opting for a Summer Staycation in the UK, footfall will continue to rise throughout July and into August as many look to enjoy the good weather. “Despite the removal of covid restrictions, the recently increased infection rate is likely to make some shoppers more cautious about venturing out into what could be busy shopping environments.”

She added: “Additionally, many workers have not yet returned to their offices and are unlikely to do so full time, which particularly impacts larger towns and cities the volumes of footfall are greatest.”

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