High Street

Footfall rises in lead up to Easter, but drops during weekend

Footfall over Easter remained -13% below 2019, but only -4.3% below 2019 in retail parks

Footfall during the period from Monday (11 April) to Thursday (14 April) leading up to Easter rose from the week before by an average of +15%, with a rise of +21.9% on Thursday and +27.3% in UK high streets, according to retail experts Springboard.

However, across Easter weekend itself (Friday (15 April) , Saturday (16 April) and Sunday (17 April)), footfall dropped marginally by -0.1% versus the previous weekend. Springboard said “this is an indication of it being the first Easter since 2019 without any social restrictions, meaning consumer activity was brought forward rather than people reserving shopping trips for the weekend”.

Footfall over Easter remained -13% below 2019, but only -4.3% below 2019 in retail parks. The fact that during Easter in 2021 the UK was still in lockdown meant that footfall in UK destinations over Easter was +119.2% above Easter 2021.

Footfall across UK retail destinations rose by +5.8% on Good Friday from the week before, with a particularly huge increase in activity in coastal towns of +33.6%, boosted by the good weather.

High streets also performed well with a +10% increase versus the previous Friday and historic towns also saw a rise in footfall of +15.8%, while in Central London footfall rose by 14.3% and by 14.5% in other large city centres around the UK.

The uplift in footfall tailed off on Saturday with just a +0.2% rise from the week before, although high streets still attracted +2.9% more visitors than on the previous Saturday, and by Monday footfall was -8.6% lower than on the Monday before, with significant drops in activity in high streets and shopping centres of -13.5% and -15.2%.

Footfall in retail parks only rose by +3.9% on good Friday and dropped marginally by -0.6% on Saturday. On Easter Monday, however, retail parks bounced back with footfall rising by +8.8% from the week before as shoppers replenished food and groceries.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Two factors heavily influenced footfall activity in UK retail destinations over Easter this year; the first factor was the warm and sunny weather, and the second factor was that this the first Easter bank holiday weekend since 2019 with no Covid restrictions.

“The fact that this Easter was the first since 2019 with no restrictions was likely a factor in people making trips to retail destinations in advance of Easter, rather than on the weekend itself. Over the period from Monday to Thursday leading up to Easter footfall rose from the week before by an average of +15% with a rise of +21.9% on Thursday and +27.3% in UK high streets.”

She added: “In overall terms there was a marginal drop in footfall over the weekend from the weekend before of -0.1% over Friday, Saturday and Monday as a whole. However, the warm and sunny weather which made external attractions particularly attractive to consumers; high street footfall rose by +1.1% whilst in shopping centres – many of which are covered – footfall was -6.1% lower than over the same three days in the previous week.”

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