Two things need to happen this week. First, the weather has to improve after another weekend wash out in temperatures that, with the wind chill, felt like January.
Secondly, the government has to declare, loudly and unequivocally, that we are on track for our freedoms to be fully returned on June 21.
The confidence boost this would bring is badly needed as footfall to all UK destinations over the past week remains 29% below normal (comparing it to the same week in pre-pandemic 2019).
Very little changed from two weeks ago to the week ending on Sunday as wind and rain kept shoppers at home, even though indoor dining resumed.
“Despite the uplift in footfall last week from the week before, there is still significant ground to be made up as footfall across all UK retail destinations remains more than a quarter below the 2019,” says Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, which compiles the footfall data.
Footfall across UK retail destinations rose by 1.1% last week from the week before, a product of rises in both high streets (+2.4%) and shopping centres (+1%) whilst in retail parks footfall dipped by 1.7%.
Central London, which has been worst affected by a lack of domestic and foreign tourism and far fewer commuters, began to recover ground on the rest of the country with footfall up 11.8% week on week.
Local high streets lost out, with Springboard suggesting people were traveling into larger cities for better restaurants and shops.