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Miserable May weather dampens high street shopping

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Commercial Street, Leeds.

Rain and wind at the weekend kept shoppers away from high streets last week, resulting in a 6.6% week-on-week fall.

Retail parks (-1.3%) and shopping centres (-1.5%) were less affected, but footfall declined across all UK destinations by 6.1%, according to the last research from Springboard.

The reduction in activity was widespread across the UK, spanning all areas apart from Northern Ireland, where the rise in footfall of +21.1% reflected the impact of the reopening of retail on Friday 30th April.

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Footfall across the UK was up by 212.6%, but this compares to the same week in May last year when the country was in a hard lock down.

It remains 25.3% below the level of early May, 2019, although retail parks have all-but returned to the footfall of two years’ ago.

Central London remains the worst affected region, with footfall 61.2% lower than in the same week in May, 2019.

Cities other than London are 32.1% quieter.

“The ongoing resilience of retail parks throughout the pandemic in retaining shopper numbers meant that last week footfall in this destination type was only marginally below the 2019 pre-pandemic level. In contrast footfall in both high streets and shopping centres remained more than a quarter below than their levels in 2019, however it is likely to be these two destination types that will receive the greatest boost from the reopening of indoor hospitality next week,” predicts Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

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