Chelsea celebrates pre-pandemic levels of footfall

As the weather across the UK starts to show glimpses of the coming summer months, the sun shone particularly brightly over Chelsea during the last week, with the area reporting record levels of footfall since the pandemic began – up 2% on 2019 numbers, marking a recovery exactly two years on from the initial lockdown in March 2020. 

Figures released by Cadogan show that Chelsea saw a rise in visitors last week (from 20th March) of +2% up on the comparable week in 2019. Overall retail footfall across Greater London was still in negative figures of -17.9%, according to research from data analysts Springboard.  Chelsea has seen a spate of 20 new retail and leisure signings over the last two years, combined with the introduction of over 900 new seats for al fresco dining across the Cadogan Estate alone, continuing to draw people to the vibrant shopping and lifestyle destination.

Flagship openings have included Soho Home Studio (the homeware brand from Soho House), The Anya Village (a collection of five stores, including a ‘village hall’ and characterful café from British designer Anya Hindmarch) and Ralph Lauren’s ‘World of Ralph Lauren’ opening in a prominent location on Sloane Square. Last week also saw LA sensation Anine Bing open her second and largest London store in Chelsea.

Several pop-ups have joined the area and subsequently converted to permanent openings, namely British designers Hayley Menzies, Rixo, sustainably driven SirPlus and footwear store CopIt, in addition to several luxury brands on Sloane Street significantly increasing their presence on the Street, including Balenciaga and Emilia Wickstead. Pavilion Road, a picturesque mews dedicated to independent artisans, was officially pedestrianised during the pandemic and has continued to draw residents and visitors through its quirky mix of food, style and wellbeing against a beautiful backdrop of seasonal planting and outdoor seating. Last week saw footfall to this destination +28.5% on the same week in 2019.  

Hugh Seaborn, chief executive, Cadogan comments: “Confidence in the high street has evidently returned as we mark these milestone footfall figures. Our overarching objective is to ensure the long-term vibrancy of Chelsea – as a ‘place’ is not about the buildings, but the people in them and the things that happen around them. The pandemic gave landowners and councils across London a fantastic opportunity to animate outdoor space, bringing the community together safely and creating a buzzing café culture which we look forward to continuing. We work collaboratively with our unique business and cultural community to create joyful experiences and a holistic experience that has much greater appeal than purchasing products online. Further exciting openings along with a strong programme of public art trails, festivals and cultural events this summer will provide continual reasons to visit and ensure that this recovery is for the long-term”.