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Footfall up 41% yesterday morning as shoppers returned to high streets

Retail footfall across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks in England increased by 41.7% yesterday morning (15 June) in comparison to last week, and by 51.7% in England’s high streets, according to the latest data from retail experts Springboard.

The 51.7% rise in footfall in high streets from last week is greater than in shopping centres where footfall rose by 37%.

Springboard said that the weather has “undoubtedly” helped high streets as shoppers “don’t mind” having to queue outside to enter retail stores when it is as warm and sunny.

Springboard said the reopening of non-essential retail has driven down the year on year decline to -34.2% across all retail destinations in England and to -41.2% in England’s high streets, showing that footfall across all retail destinations in England is around a third less than on the same day last year.

Ahead of the reopening, a study completed by Springboard and AL Marketing indicated that consumers had concerns about other people not following the safety measures within shops (36%) and there being long queues to get in (32%). However, it said the reopening of non-essential stores has seen shoppers “rush back” to the high street, retail parks and shopping centres.

Springboard also indicated that retail footfall is sure to rise even further during the coming weeks as the Government continues to relax restrictions.

Further data from the study highlights what consumers have missed most during lockdown are restaurants and cafes (32%), fashion (21%) and entertainment (16%) so it is expected that consumers will continue to flock to retail destinations once both restaurants and cinemas are allowed to reopen.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Footfall in retail parks that are dominated by high street retailers has risen by 41.7% in England, but by only 25.1% on England’s retail parks as a whole; demonstrating that shoppers have switched from homeware stores and food stores to locations with high street retailers such as M&S and Next.

“Some of the uplift in footfall is a consequence of a drop in footfall last Monday from the Monday before, but nevertheless the rise is significant; and we must remember that these results are only for the period up to 12pm. Footfall is likely to increase further by early afternoon as people come out later in the day and during their lunch hours.”

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