UK footfall jumps 45% during first week of retail trading

Footfall across all UK retail destinations rose by 45% during the first week of non-essential retail reopening (15 June) compared with the previous week, according to new data from Springboard.

The retail insights firm said the clearest indication of the impact of non-essential retail reopening is evident from the uplifts in footfall in high streets and shopping centres, rising 47.5% and 45% respectively.

These rises were nearly double the increase in footfall in retail parks of 27.1%, reflecting the fact that retail parks had already recorded increases in footfall over the preceding weeks.

In retail parks, food stores and home stores were already trading, meaning the increase in footfall was “more modest”.

In the West End of London footfall rose from the week before by slightly more than across England’s high streets (+55.9% in the West End versus +51.1% in England).

However, Springboard said footfall in London’s West End still remains at a much lower level than last year – 80.8% lower in the West End in 2019 compared with 59.2% lower in England’s high streets.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The opening of non-essential retail in England on Monday 15 June had a substantial impact on footfall across all retail destinations.

“The overall result for the UK was subdued by Scotland and Wales where retail reopening is yet to happen. We anticipate an additional uplift to come when retail in these areas of the UK also reopens and the hospitality and entertainment industry is given the green light to resume trading in the coming weeks.”

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