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UK footfall flat despite football fever

Tom Bottomley
12 July 2021

Despite the Euros gripping the nation and England’s progress to the final, the football failed to give any real boost to footfall last week, 4-10 July 2021.

According to the latest data from retail experts Springboard, footfall across all UK retail destinations rose by just +0.6% following a flat result the week before.

There were marginal gains in retail parks and shopping centres of +1.4% and +1.3% respectively, but in high streets there was no increase at all.

Between Sunday and Tuesday footfall rose by an average of just +0.9%, however, in retail parks footfall rose by +7.2% on Tuesday, possibly a result of shoppers visiting food and beverage stores to stock up on provisions in advance of the semi-final match on Wednesday.

Saturday was by far the strongest day of the week, with footfall +6.1% higher than the week before across all retail destinations, and increases of a similar magnitude in all three destination types (+6.9% in high streets, +5.4% in shopping centres and +5.1% in retail parks).

Yesterday, the day of the Euros final, it was only high streets that benefited with a rise in footfall of +9.7% from the week before, probably supported by fans visiting pubs to watch the match, while in retail parks and shopping centres footfall declined by -4% and -4.9%.

Despite there being no overall rise in footfall across high streets generally, activity in both Central London and coastal towns increased, with rises of +3.6% and +2.6%.

The gap from 2019 narrowed slightly to -25.8% last week from -28.1% the week before, with footfall in retail parks just -4.4% below the 2019 level. On Saturday, the +5.1% rise in footfall in retail parks pushed it above the 2019 level by +2.4%.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, commented: “The Euros may have gripped the nation but the football failed to boost footfall last week, with only a very marginal rise from the week before. Even on the two match days the change in footfall across UK retail destinations was unspectacular, with a drop from the previous week on Wednesday and a modest rise on Sunday.

“The strongest result occurred on Saturday, possibly as a result of shoppers making trips in advance of Sunday, although high streets also fared well on Sunday. Despite the overall result being flat on the week before, the gap from 2019 narrowed marginally, and footfall was still around a third higher than in the same week last year. In retail parks on Saturday footfall was actually higher than on the same day in 2019.”

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