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Retail set for “bumper Easter week” as UK footfall is forecast to rise

Tom Bottomley
25 March 2024

Footfall across all UK retail destinations is forecast to rise 6.6% over the week of Easter compared to the week before, with Good Friday alone set to see increased footfall of 11.3% on high streets and 14.2% in retail parks.

Adding to the cheer for retailers, the long Easter weekend coincides with payday for many, and coastal towns "will experience strong footfall growth of almost a quarter" compared to the previous week as families make the most of school holidays in what is the second peak trading period in the retail calendar (after Christmas), according to retail experts MRI Software.

Week-on-week footfall across all UK retail destinations rose 4.8% last week, 17-23 March, in the build up to Easter, largely driven by high street performance, which was up 5.9%. High street footfall was also up on 2023 levels at 2.8%, while there was a marginal rise of 1.4% across all UK retail destinations.

All regions and town types saw a rebound in footfall last week, with Central London leading the charge week-on-week (+7.8%) and year-on-year (+6.1%).

That was largely driven by MRI Software’s Central London ‘Back to the Office’ benchmark, which recorded highs of 8.9% week-on-week and 8% year-on-year, signalling a welcome boost ahead of the Easter break.

Northern Ireland (+7.2%) and Scotland (+5.5%) also stood out with significant week-on-week rises. However, the West Midlands witnessed the greatest year-on-year rise with footfall sitting 8% higher than 2023 levels.

Jenni Matthews, Marketing and Insights Director at MRI Software, said: "Last week, the penultimate trading week before Easter, saw footfall rebound in all UK retail destinations following a decline in the week prior.

"March has witnessed a volatile trend with footfall fluctuating week-on-week, likely to be influenced by shifts in key holiday dates including Mother’s Day and the upcoming Easter break, therefore it’s unsurprising to see a bounce back in activity last week."

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