Footfall in UK retail destinations records -6.7% week on week decline

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Footfall in UK retail destinations declined by -6.7% last week from the week before, a sharp contrast with the rise of +11.6% in the previous week. Activity dipped in all three destination types; high streets lost around half of the gain made in the week before with a decline in footfall of -9% versus a rise of +17.4% in the previous week and in shopping centres the drop of -7.5% nearly equalled the +8.7% rise in the previous week. In retail parks the -0.9% drop was around a third of the gain of +2.3% made in the week before.

Footfall dropped across all type of high street, but by the greatest proportion in coastal and historic towns (-19% and -13.1%) and in regional city centres (-13.4%). As people returned to work, but from home, footfall in market towns and in outer London dipped by just -2% and -2.6% respectively. Footfall across all UK retail destinations last week was -18.4% below the 2019 level, a slightly less favourable position than in the week before when it was -14.5% below 2019 reflecting the drop in footfall from the previous week.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, commented: “UK retail destinations suffered post Bank Holiday blues last week, with footfall dropping back by around half of the uplift recorded in the week before, when the school half term holiday coincided with the Spring bank holiday and amazing weather. Despite this, the gains made in the week before meant that the gap in footfall from 2019 remained narrower than at any point since the start of the pandemic other than last week. Footfall was lower than the week before on all but one day last week, with the greatest dips over the week inevitably occurring in towns that are appealing to visitors such as coastal and historic towns and city centres. With many people returning to work, but continuing to do so from home, market towns and outer London high streets were once again the most resilient. Despite this largely positive news, with the removal of restrictions set to be delayed by as much as a month footfall is not likely to strengthen significantly over the next four weeks. However, it should receive a huge boost in the second half of July, particularly as this coincides with the start of the school summer break.”

Week beginning 06/06/2021 (Sunday to Saturday)
Year on year % change in footfall – 2021 vs 2020Year on year % change in footfall – 2021 vs 2019Week on week % change in footfall

All UK Destinations 160.6% -18.4% -6.7%

UK High Streets192.0%-21.4%-9.0%
UK Retail Parks62.7%-2.4%-0.9%
UK Shopping Centres189.1%-27.5%-7.5%
Week beginning 06/06/2021 (Sunday to Saturday)
Year on year % change in footfall – 2021 vs 2020Year on year % change in footfall – 2021 vs 2019Week on week % change in footfall
East141.0%-12.7%-8.5%
East Midlands159.7%-20.2%-5.4%
Greater London156.0%-19.0%-5.0%
North & Yorkshire164.8%-14.5%-5.2%
Scotland179.2%-24.1%-3.0%
South East155.0%-16.3%-5.9%
South West186.6%-10.9%-11.2%
Wales199.1%-20.1%-7.3%
West Midlands151.8%-14.1%-6.1%
Northern Ireland123.3%-20.5%-3.4%
Week beginning 06/06/2021 (Sunday to Saturday)
Year on year % change in footfall – 2021 vs 2020Year on year % change in footfall – 2021 vs 2019Week on week % change in footfall
Coastal Towns166.0%-6.6%-19.0%
Historic Towns266.8%-10.9%-13.1%
Regional Cities330.1%-32.4%-13.4%
Central London320.2%-45.6%-14.6%
Outer London122.4%-10.2%-2.6%
Market Towns137.9%-13.8%-2.0%
Regional Cities Ex London307.7%-20.4%-11.5%