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Weekly UK footfall rises +3.9% in high streets as shoppers “braved the rain”

Tom Bottomley
17 May 2021

Overall footfall for 9 – 15 May, 2021, was +0.5% compared to the week before, wholly driven by a rise of +3.9% in UK high streets as shoppers faced the elements, while footfall in shopping centres and retail parks declined by -2.8% and -3.4% respectively.

Footfall rose by +4.2% in Central London week-on-week as consumer confidence grows and office workers return to the capital, however it remains -61.8% the 2019 level, according to the latest data from retail experts Springboard.

Footfall rose across all types of high street, but the most modest rises were in coastal towns at +0.5%, and historic towns at +1.6%, with a rise in footfall of +5.7% in market towns evidence that shoppers stayed local.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, commented: “Shoppers braved the ongoing rain and ventured back into retail destinations last week with footfall rising from the week before. However, it was high streets rather than shopping centres or retail parks that drove the uplift, and the result was a largely a result of a bounce back from a drop in shopper activity that occurred over the bank holiday weekend the week before.

Shoppers continued to demonstrate a greater desire to visit their local high streets than large city centres across the UK, although it seems that Central London is becoming more appealing with a rise in footfall last week that was the second highest of any type of high street, only lower than in market towns.

“With indoor hospitality opening today the return of shoppers to high streets couldn't come at a better time, suggesting we will see a further uplift in footfall as the opportunity to eat and drink inside protected from the elements will give shoppers an incentive to visit high streets more frequently and dwell longer.”

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