Footfall rose by +11.1% across all UK retail destinations last week from the week before, when it dropped by -3.8%, according to Springboard.
The company said this uplift emanated from a bounce back in footfall on Friday and Saturday when footfall averaged +43.3% higher than the week before, “helped by the sunny weather on these days”, compared with an average decline of -22.3% over these two days in the previous week as a result of Storms Dudley and Eunice.
Over the five days from Sunday to Thursday footfall declined by an average of -0.2% from the week before, with drops on three of the five days. On Tuesday and Wednesday, however, footfall rose, with the largest rise occurring in UK high streets of +13.4% versus +8.9% in shopping centres and +2.6% in retail parks.
Footfall rose in all town types last week, with a rise of +17% in Central London and +20.3% in Springboard’s Back to the Office benchmark, which it said “indicates more workers are returning to the office following the government’s removal of COVID restrictions”.
However, in city centres outside of the capital the increase was lower at +10% and only +0.4% over the four days from Monday to Thursday, versus +7.2% over the four days in Central London, indicating that “footfall in London last week was likely to have been boosted by half term family trips”.
The overall increase meant that the gap from the 2019 level narrowed noticeably, to -17.2% from -26.3% in the week before, although the uplift from 2021 only improved marginally to +123.9% from +122.4% in the previous week.
Diane Wehrle, Insights director at Springboard, said: “Footfall across UK retail destinations bounced back in overall terms last week from the severe impact of the storms in the previous week. However, this was wholly due to a recovery in footfall on Friday and Saturday, which was undoubtedly helped by the dry sunny weather on these two days, but also due to exceptionally low comparables in the week before due to the impact on footfall because of Storms Dudley and Eunice.
“In contrast with Friday and Saturday – and despite the school half term – over the five days from Sunday to Thursday footfall was marginally lower last week than in the week before, with noticeable drops on Sunday and Monday.”
She added: “The return of employees to their offices appears to be continuing, with a rise in footfall last week in Central London and in Springboard’s Back to the Office benchmark, which tracks activity in areas of Central London that are in close proximity to offices.
“However, it is likely that a large proportion of the uplift in Central London will have been driven by half term family trips to the capital as footfall in regional cities across the UK between Monday and Thursday increased only very marginally.”