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Sunny bank holiday gives UK footfall a boost

Tom Bottomley
30 May 2023

Over the three-day late May bank holiday weekend, 27-29 May, footfall was up 5.4% week-on-week across all UK retail destinations, with the warm and sunny weather seeing more people get out and about.

High streets benefited from the long weekend, with footfall up 8.5% compared to the same weekend in 2022, whilst retail parks experienced a 5.2% uplift on bank holiday Monday, according to the latest data from retail experts MRI Springboard.

Other key findings include:

  • The lead up to school half-term and the bank holiday provided a boost for retailers as footfall increased by 5.1% across all UK destinations from 21-27 May 2023, compared to the same week in 2022.
  • Footfall soared over the bank holiday weekend at coastal towns, buoyed by the arrival of holiday makers, with week-on-week footfall climbing 24.7% across the weekend.
  • Sunny weather on Sunday 28 May encouraged shoppers, with year-on-year UK footfall rising 9.2% on that day.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at MRI Springboard, said: “The performance of towns that are particularly appealing for day visits and holidays substantially improved on Sunday, boosted by holidaymakers who had spent Saturday travelling to their destinations.

“In coastal towns, footfall on Sunday was 30.2% higher than on the previous Sunday. It was also 22.3% higher in city centres around the UK, 17.6% higher in Central London and 11.6% higher in historic towns.

“On bank holiday Monday footfall was 5.2% higher than the week before, but by far the greatest uplift of 11.6% occurred in retail parks, versus just 3.2% in high streets, as shoppers visited food stores to replenish food and groceries after the weekend. Footfall in shopping centres was also 3.2% higher on Monday than the week before.

“Over the three days of the late May bank holiday as a whole, the average uplift in footfall from the week before was 5.4%, versus 11.6% over the early May bank holiday. This difference is in part likely to be due to the large number of holidaymakers making the most of the late May half term break to take overseas trip."

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