Brits head back to high street as hospitality and leisure reopens, Springboard reports

Latest data from retail experts Springboard reveals that footfall in in England’s high streets rose by +19.6% on Saturday and +28.3% on Sunday in comparison to the weekend before, as Brits celebrated their new found freedom, with the reopening of the hospitality and leisure industry.

Data reveals that post 5pm footfall in England rose by more than over the 24 hour period as a whole on both Saturday and Sunday. Over the period from 5pm to midnight, footfall across England rose by +17.8% on Saturday and by +36.5% on Sunday. In high streets, where the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants are located, the increase was even greater at +35.8% on Saturday and +48.9% on Sunday. In London, footfall rose by even more than across England; by +26% on Saturday and by over +40% on Sunday, increasing by +62.8% from the week before post 5pm on Sunday.

As consumers enjoyed the reopening of hospitality and leisure, it was clear to see that retail trading was less of a priority in England. In shopping centres, where there is a limited offering of restaurants and venues with alcohol permits, the rise was just +6% on Saturday and +10.7% on Sunday. Whilst in retail parks, where the hospitality offering is even more limited, most commonly chain restaurant eateries, footfall declined on both Saturday and Sunday (by -7.6% on Saturday and -3.6% on Sunday).

In Scotland, footfall rose significantly which was a result of the easing of travel restrictions and the opening of stores with high street frontages; more than doubling from the week before in high streets on Saturday (+102.7%)  and +81.9% higher from the week before on Sunday.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, commented: “Despite what are positive signs for the hospitality industry on the first weekend of reopening,  it is essential to recognise that footfall remains at around half of the 2019 level, with a decline of -57.7% across all destinations in England on Saturday, and -53.4% on Sunday. As the industry takes small steps in reopening post pandemic, we recognise there is still a long way to go before the industry returns to normality.”

Week on week % change in footfall – Sat 4th July vs Sat 27th June 2020 (24 hours)
 EnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
High Streets19.6%-15.8%102.7%29.1%
Retail Parks-7.6%0.1%20.1%1.7%
Shopping Centres6.0%-0.4%49.3%1.8%
All destinations9.7%-8.2%69.7%22.2%
Week on week % change in footfall – Sat 4th July vs Sat 27th June 2020 (post 5pm)
 EnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
High Streets35.8%-19.0%63.1%59.5%
Retail Parks-12.4%-4.7%6.5%2.9%
Shopping Centres9.7%-3.9%58.2%-5.2%
All destinations17.8%-11.8%48.4%43.2%