High Street

Weather boosts footfall across UK by 2.3%

Despite the strong footfall performance last week, the gap from the 2019 level widened marginally to -15.2% across all retail destinations from -13.1% in the week before, although it more than doubled to +112.4% from the same week in 2021 which was during lockdown

Footfall rose by +2.3% last week from the week before across all UK retail destinations, with most of the rise driven by high streets where footfall rose by +4.2% versus just +0.5% in shopping centres and +0.1% in retail parks, according to retail experts Springboard.

In coastal towns footfall rose by +8.5% from the week before, versus just +3.1% in market towns, +4.9% in Central London and +4.7% in city centres outside of the capital.

From Thursday onwards – when the weather became warm and sunny – footfall rose from by +8.1% across all retail destinations and by +12.4% in high streets, versus +4.3% in shopping centres and +2.8% in retail parks.

On Friday, the uplift doubled to +16.1% across all retail destinations and more than doubled in high streets to +25.8% from the previous week.

Springboard said “this is an indication that the flexibility of hybrid home/office working could be enabling consumers to make trips to retail destinations during the working week”.

In coastal towns on Friday, footfall rose by +40.8% from the previous Friday, versus an average of +24.7% in other town types, and then by +10.7% on Saturday whilst across all other town types it rose by just +2.1% on Saturday.

Despite the strong footfall performance last week, the gap from the 2019 level widened marginally to -15.2% across all retail destinations from -13.1% in the week before, although it more than doubled to +112.4% from the same week in 2021 which was during lockdown.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The favourable weather from Thursday onwards had a positive impact on footfall across UK retail destinations last week; footfall rose from the week before in all three destination types, but particularly in high streets which is typically the destination of choice for shoppers when the weather is warm and dry.

“Footfall rose in all town types, with an uplift in coastal towns that was double that in any other type of town centre, not a surprising result in light of the good weather.”

She added: “Footfall rose from the week before on five of the seven days last week, with drops on Sunday and Wednesday when it rained across much of the UK. There was a surprisingly strong uplift in footfall in high streets on Friday given that it was a working day, which was more than five times as large as the rise on Saturday.

“Interestingly, this could be a real sign that hybrid home/office working may be making it more feasible for consumers to make spontaneous trips to destinations outside of the weekend, a trend we expect to see rise.”

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