Staycations helped footfall improve in August by around a quarter from -24.2% in July to -18.6% in August, with the gap from the 2019 footfall level reducing to less than -20% for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
According to the latest data from Springboard, Footfall declined from 2019 by -23.5% in high streets, -24% in shopping centres and -2.4% in retail parks, with the popularity of staycations and daycations in August helping boost footfall, particularly in high streets.
Footfall in Central London in August was -38% below the 2019 level, but “strengthened considerably” from -50.4% in July and is expected to continue to do so in September.
Springboard added that in large cities outside of the capital, the improvement in footfall in August was nearly double that in smaller high streets, putting them at a “comparable level” versus 2019 for the first time.
Springboard said the findings reflect its UK Retail Consumer Report for August which identified that 89% of consumers now feel “some degree of comfort” in visiting retail destinations and 50% are “completely comfortable” in making trips.
Some 47% of UK consumers now visit bricks and mortar destinations at least once a week, far more than in the US where only 28% of consumers do so.
On the basis that nothing untoward occurs and restrictions are not put back in place, Springboard revealed it appears “reasonable” to expect that by the end of the year footfall will be just 10% to 15% below the pre-pandemic level.
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, said: “This boost puts bricks and mortar retail in a good place at what is the start of Q4, leading up to the peak trading period of the year – Christmas.
“On the basis that nothing untoward occurs and restrictions are not put back in place, it appears to be a reasonable expectation that by the end of the year footfall will be just 10% to 15% below the pre-pandemic level.”