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Coastal towns the Good Friday “winners” with footfall leaping 61.4%

Tom Bottomley
11 April 2023

Easter gave retailers a much needed boost as weekly footfall rose 14.2% across all UK retail destinations in the week up to Easter Sunday, while warm and sunny weather saw Brits surge to coastal towns on Good Friday - with footfall rocketing 61.4% compared to the previous week.

Historic towns also hugely benefited from Good Friday tourism, with footfall jumping 42%, according to the latest data from retail analysts MRI Springboard, who said that overall Good Friday “exceeded all expectations”, with footfall across all UK destinations up 17.5% week-on-week.

UK high streets saw an even greater lift of +26.8% on Good Friday, with shopping centres seeing a 8.1% rise and retail parks +7.4%.

The +14.2% week-on-week boost to footfall across all UK retail destinations in the week up to Easter Sunday was the largest weekly increase since the week leading up to Christmas 2022.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at MRI Springboard, said: “Easter this year was pre-empted by strong footfall performance every day during the week in the run up to Easter, and then the weekend itself was undoubtedly helped by the warm and sunny weather.

“Amongst the range of town types, coastal and historic towns were the winners over Easter which is not surprising given the warm and sunny weather and their huge attraction for day and holiday visits.

“On Good Friday, the greatest increase in footfall of +61.4% occurred in coastal towns followed by historic towns (+42%). On Easter Saturday the rises in footfall across the range of town types were far more modest apart from in coastal towns where footfall was 38.8% higher than the week before. Even on Easter Sunday, footfall in coastal towns was 3.2% higher than the week before, whilst in all other types of towns footfall declined noticeably.

“The cooler temperatures and rain on Monday meant that footfall in all key town types was much lower than the week before.

“Across the week as a whole, footfall rose across all parts of the UK, with the greatest week-on-week increases in the East (+15.9%), the South West (+17.3) and Wales (+18%), all of which have extensive coastlines and a strong representation of coastal towns.

“Over the three trading days of Easter, footfall was 3.7% higher than over Easter in 2022.

“However, footfall over Easter remained -10.8% lower than over Easter in 2019 across all retail destinations, but there were differences in the degree of recovery to pre-pandemic levels across the three key destination types. Footfall in retail parks bounced back to the 2019 level (+0.05% from 2019) supported by strong trading on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

“In high streets, however, despite a week on week rise of 4.8% over the weekend there remained a gap of -16% from 2019, and in shopping centres the gap from 2019 was -9.8%.”

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