The second anniversary of the start of the first lockdown in 2020 delivered positive results, with a rise in footfall of +7.8% last week from the week before across all UK retail destinations, according to retail experts Springboard.
It found increases in all three destination types; +9.8% in high streets, +5.8% in retail parks and +5.5% in shopping centres.
While footfall last week was -15.7% below the same week in 2019 – a slight widening of the gap from the week before last when it was -15% below 2019 – it was more than double the level last year when still in lockdown, demonstrating a “growing recovery”.
Footfall rose on every day with the most significant rises on Wednesday (a response to noticeable drops on the previous Wednesday) and Saturday, when Springboard said it is “likely that some trips will have been prompted by Mother’s Day on Sunday”.
The greatest rise occurred in coastal towns (+16.6%) as the weather improved, but Greater London and market towns also performed strongly (+12% and +11.5%).
Footfall rose across all UK geographies last week, with rises from the week before that ranged from +4.9% in Northern Ireland to +10.4% in the South West, which reflects the increased activity in coastal and market towns.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Last Wednesday marked two years since the beginning of the first lockdown and delivered positive news for UK retail destinations last week, which was helped by warm and sunny weather across the UK which lasted the entire week.
“Not only did footfall rise significantly from the week before across UK retail destinations as a whole, but there were strong rises in each of the three destination types. As is typically the case when we benefit from good weather, high streets benefited most with a week on week increase that was nearly double that in shopping centres and retail parks.”
She added: “There were rises every day in high streets and retail parks, and on five of the seven days in shopping centres. The increase in footfall last week was comprehensive; all UK geographies recorded uplifts in footfall from the week before, with the strongest rise in the South-West which dovetails with a double digit rise in footfall in coastal and market towns.”