Footfall in UK retail destinations declined by -0.7% last week from the week before, a consequence of drops in footfall in both retail parks (-1.8%) and shopping centres (-2.3%) whilst in high streets footfall rose modestly by +0.7%.
This meant that the gap from the 2019 footfall level widened to -13.5% from -9.3% in the week before, in part due to a strong week-on-week performance in the same week in 2019 when footfall rose by +4.3%.
In contrast, despite activity in Central London and regional cities outside the capital declining (-0.4% and -3.1% respectively), there was a rise of +4.4% in Springboard’s Central London ‘Back to the Office’ benchmark which countered this, meaning the gap in footfall from 2019 for the ‘Back to the Office’ benchmark is now smaller than that for Central London as a whole (-17.1% versus -21.8% across Central London).
In addition, it found that Footfall dropped in shopping centres from the week before on each day other than Friday, with significant drops at the commencement of the week on Sunday (-6.1%), on Thursday (-3.8%) and on Saturday (-2.4%). In retail parks, the poorest performing days were Sunday (-3.2%), Monday (-9%) and Saturday (-4%).
Diane Wehrle, Insights director at Springboard, said: “Footfall in UK retail destinations fell back a little last week, resulting in a widening of the gap from the 2019 footfall level from what we hoped was a turning point the week before last when the gap from 2019 narrowed to below -10%.
“Footfall also dropped across all town types other than Outer London and market towns, initially suggesting that the return to the office had slowed as a greater resilience in these town types are synonymous with home working.”
She added: “However, this was countered by a rise in Springboard’s Central London “Back to the Office” benchmark – which tracks footfall in areas of Central London in close proximity to offices – whilst footfall in Central London as a whole declined. The gap in footfall from 2019 in Central London last week remained twice as large as in Outer London.
“The warm and dry weather supported high streets last week where footfall rose marginally, but it dropped in both retail parks and shopping centres driving down the overall result.”
She continued: “Footfall in shopping centres declined last week from the week before every day other than Friday, when there was a modest rise, and in retail parks it declined on four of the seven days. In high streets, activity was more consistent with drops on only two days although the extent of this decline averaged twice the rise over the five other days.”