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Hot weather sees UK high street footfall jump over bank holiday weekend

Tom Bottomley
01 June 2021

Footfall across all UK retail destinations rose +6.7% last week, 23-29 May, 2021, compared to the week before.

However, while there was a modest rise of +4.4% on Saturday 29 May, footfall leapt +25% across all UK retail destinations on Sunday - boosted by a huge +47.4% uplift in footfall in UK high streets - and +16% on Bank Holiday Monday (+29.3% in high streets) as temperatures soared, according to the latest data from retail experts Springboard.

In Central London footfall rose by +17% last week from the week before, a larger rise than in any other high street type other than coastal towns where it rose by +18.2% - again undoubtedly driven by the hot sunny weather over the weekend.

In larger cities outside London footfall rose by +9.2%, by +9.8% in market towns and by +8.1% in outer London.

Despite the uplift last week, footfall remains -26.8% lower than in pre-pandemic 2019, although that is a marginal improvement on the position from last week when it was -28.7% lower than in 2019.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, commented: “Despite rain continuing to persist at the beginning of last week, footfall in UK retail destinations rose from the week before, with the increase also being far greater than in the past five weeks. It was apparent that shoppers intended to make the most of the bank holiday weekend – and the good weather that was forecast - as footfall rose by substantially more on Thursday and Friday (there was an average increase over Thursday and Friday of +20.6%) than earlier in the week.

“Footfall rose in all three destination types last week from the previous week, but it was high streets that dominated in terms of uplift. All types of high street benefited, with Central London and coastal towns leading the way. The increase in activity in Central London was nearly double that in large city centres elsewhere in the UK, while the increases in market towns and outer London high streets were slightly lower, suggesting that shoppers are starting to gravitate towards larger locations.”

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