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Weekend footfall bounces back to pre-covid levels in England

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Footfall in England shot up by 81% across all retail destinations in the week after non-essential stores were allowed to reopen.

Traffic rose by 121.3% in shopping centres, 79.8% in high streets and 40.7% in retail parks.

Footfall across the whole of the UK increased by 40.3% last week from the week before, with a rise of 61.1% in shopping centres, 40% in high streets and 19.1% in retail parks, according to the latest data from Springboard.

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On Saturday, alone, footfall in retail parks across the UK was just 1.3% lower than in 2019 and in retail parks in England the gap between last year and this year was even narrower, with footfall just 0.5% lower than in the same week in 2019.

In the week when both Arcadia Group and Debenhams said they may close all stores, the spike is welcome news for the beleaguered retail sector.

However, footfall across all retail destinations remained 41.3% lower than in 2019 last week, with high streets and shopping centres hardest hit.

“The first week of the reopening of non-essential retail stores in England delivered a significant rise in footfall across all retail destinations last week compared with the week before, but particularly in shopping centres. This is not an unexpected outcome, as shoppers tend to gravitate towards shopping centres in the run up to Christmas as they host the greatest number of stores in a single location, which also tend to be larger stores with a wider choice of products to choose from. The most modest rise in footfall occurred in retail parks, but these locations have been the most resilient of all three destination types in retaining footfall, and so started from a higher base,” says Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

“The first week of the reopening of non-essential retail stores in England delivered a significant rise in footfall across all retail destinations last week compared with the week before, but particularly in shopping centres. This is not an unexpected outcome, as shoppers tend to gravitate towards shopping centres in the run up to Christmas as they host the greatest number of stores in a single location, which also tend to be larger stores with a wider choice of products to choose from. The most modest rise in footfall occurred in retail parks, but these locations have been the most resilient of all three destination types in retaining footfall, and so started from a higher base,” she adds.

Week beginning 29/11/2020 (Sunday to Saturday)
   

Year on year % change in

footfall

 

Week on week % change in

footfall

UK High Streets -51.0% 40.0%
UK Retail Parks -16.0% 19.1%
UK Shopping Centres -45.6% 61.1%
All UK Destinations -41.3% 40.3%
 

Week beginning 29/11/2020 (Sunday to Saturday) – All UK Retail Destinations

   

Year on

 

Week on

year % week %
change in change in
footfall footfall
East -32.7% 50.2%
East Midlands -44.6% 58.3%
Greater London -40.8% 42.2%
North & Yorkshire -39.0% 54.2%
Scotland -49.2% 0.5%
South East -35.3% 53.6%
South West -38.8% 62.3%
Wales -30.5% 1.0%
West Midlands -41.5% 55.6%
Northern Ireland -64.3% -46.9%

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