Footfall in the UK rose by 4.9% over the last week, with a peak of 8.2% during the bank holiday weekend as shoppers made the most of the long weekend ahead of the return to school.
While it has yet to reach levels seen in 2019, the gap is the smallest since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Over the course of the week, the largest uplift occurred in high streets, where the increase from the week before averaged +5% from Sunday to Friday and then +14.8% on Saturday and Sunday.
High street footfall was also 23.4% higher than 2020, demonstrating how much better bricks and mortar retail performed compared with August bank holiday last year.
Footfall also rose 4.8% in shopping centres versus just 0.8% in retail parks compared to the previous week. Meanwhile, footfall was 3.2% higher than the 2020 level in retail parks and 5.7% higher in shopping centres.
Despite the bank holiday weekend uplift in footfall, there was a sharp dip of -11.7% on bank holiday Monday. A large proportion of this decline came from shopping centres where footfall declined by 10.8%, but rising by +4.5% in retail parks as shoppers headed to food stores to restock on household essentials.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “In the final week of the school summer holiday period, footfall across UK retail destinations continued to rise from the week before, although the increase was wholly driven by high streets and shopping centres, rather than retail parks.
“The positive news for bricks and mortar retail destinations is that footfall last week was noticeably higher than in the same week in 2020 when the August bank holiday also occurred, particularly in high streets; and the gap from 2019 was the smallest of any week since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”