High Street

UK footfall forecast to rise by 8% over Jubilee weekend

In the lead up to the Jubilee, footfall rose by +2.3% last week across UK retail destinations from the week before

Following a modest rise in footfall last week, retail experts expect the Platinum Jubilee and school half term holiday to cause footfall in retail destinations to surge by as much as +8% over the bank holiday weekend.

According to Springboard, it anticipates an uplift of as much as +10% in high streets, +7% in shopping centres and +4% in retail parks. Over the bank holiday, the weather is forecast to be sunny but not hugely hot on Thursday and Friday, followed by showery weather over the weekend, which generally boosts shopping trips as day trips to beaches and leisure attractions hold less appeal.

In the lead up to the Jubilee, footfall rose by +2.3% last week across UK retail destinations from the week before, with increases that were broadly similar in all three key destination types (+2.2% in high streets +2.1% in retail parks and +2.5% in shopping centres).

The week started strongly with a rise in footfall of +6.5% on Sunday, but fell away between Monday and Wednesday when rain hit many parts of the UK. The strongest performing day was Friday when the weather was warm and sunny in many locations, with an overall rise of +12.2% from the week before (+16% in high streets, 10.8% in shopping centres and +5.4% in retail parks).

It added that the “ongoing shift’ back to the office by employees for at least some days each week was illustrated by a rise in footfall in Central London of +4.1%, an uplift in Springboard’s Central London “Back to the Office” benchmark of +6% and by a rise in footfall in city centres outside of the capital of +5.3%.

These increases contrasted a flat result in market towns from the week before and a modest increase of just +1.6% in Outer London where rises in both are indicative of home working.

With the ongoing movement of employees back into offices, footfall in market towns was -19.4% below the 2019 level versus -15.5% below 2019 in city centres outside of London and -18.9% in the capital itself – the seventh consecutive week when the gap in footfall from 2019 in market towns was greater than in city centres.

Across the three key destination types, the gap from the 2019 footfall level widened marginally last week to -16.1% from -15% in the week before.

Diane Wehrle, Insights director at Springboard, said: “With just a modest rise in footfall last week, we are anticipating a boost this week generated by the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday combined with the school half term break.

“This is likely to be supported by weather that is forecast to be sunny on Thursday and Friday but not hugely hot, followed by cooler weather with occasional rain over the weekend, making visits to coastal towns and leisure venues on these days less appealing for many and increasing the appeal of retail destinations.”

She added: “Looking at last week, which was the week leading up to both payday and the school half term break, there was a modest rise in footfall across UK retail destinations last week from the week before. Footfall rose to an equal degree across all three key destination types, although the results varied from day to day across the week, with footfall impacted mid week by rain – particularly in high streets. The best performing day was Friday, buoyed by warm sunny weather.”

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