Footfall fell by 22.9% compared to 2019 in the non-food sector across the UK, although footfall is up 9.9% compared to the previous month due to “unseasonably warm weather”.
According to Ipsos Retail Performance, the retail sector performed the strongest at -14.9% compared to pre-Covid levels, while footfall on the high street fell -23.1% and shopping centres fell -23.6%.
Overall, towns outperformed cities by 8.3% as footfall dropped -26.7% within cities but -18.4% in towns.
The best performing region was Northern England where store visits were down by -18.6%, followed by London and the South East at -22%.
Meanwhile, Scotland and Northern Ireland were the worst performing regions with footfall dropping -24.7%.
Oliver Hillier, senior retail analyst at Ipsos Retail Performance, said: “Despite footfall still being down by -22.9% compared to 2019, the unseasonably warm weather had a positive impact on footfall across the UK, with footfall up 9.9% compared to the previous month.
“However, concerns that the chancellor’s Spring Statement didn’t go far enough to protect consumers against the rising cost of living will likely impact footfall levels throughout the spring, as many households look to cut back on non-essential items to cover increasing utility costs and the recent rise in council tax.”
He added: “Local high streets also remain popular, with footfall levels increasing 15.7% compared to the previous month, as shoppers look to support their local economy – a trend that has been gathering pace since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic back in March 2020.”