Footfall in UK retail destinations rose by +4.9% last week from the week before, Springboard reports

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Latest data from retail intelligence experts Springboard reveals that footfall in UK retail destinations rose by +4.9% last week from the week before, with rises of +6.9% in high streets and +4.8% in shopping centres versus just +0.8% in retail parks.

Footfall across all retail destinations rose by an average of +3.9% from Sunday to Friday from the week before, however this rose to +8.2% over the August bank holiday weekend as shoppers made the most of the long weekend ahead of back to school this week.

Despite the bank holiday weekend uplift in footfall, there was a sharp dip of -11.7% on bank holiday Monday. A large proportion of this decline came from shopping centres where footfall declined by – 10.8%, but rising by +4.5% in retail parks as shoppers headed to food stores to restock on household essentials.

Over the course of the week, the largest uplift occurred in high streets, where the increase from the week before averaged +5% from Sunday to Friday and then +14.8% on Saturday and Sunday. In shopping centres, the increase between Sunday to Friday was similar to that in high streets, however, over the bank holiday weekend they did not fare as well with a more modest increase that averaged +5.3%. In coastal towns footfall rose by +19.8% over the bank holiday weekend, and by +20.1% in historic towns.

Footfall last week was +14.2% higher than in the same week in 2020, and +23.4% higher in high streets, demonstrating how much better bricks and mortar retail performed compared with August bank holiday last year. In contrast, the gains made by retail parks and shopping centres last week from 2020 were far more modest, with footfall +3.2% higher than the 2020 level in retail parks and +5.7% higher in shopping centres. The strengthening of retail is reflected in the comparison with 2019, with the gap across all retail destinations last week from 2019 at -16.3%.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, commented: “In the final week of the school summer holiday period, footfall across UK retail destinations continued to rise from the week before, although the increase was wholly driven by high streets and shopping centres, rather than retail parks. Footfall rose on each day of the week, with larger rises occurring each day from Friday onwards. Over the bank holiday weekend, the increase in footfall in high streets from the previous week was three times as great as the average over the preceding six days from Sunday to Friday, and in shopping centres it was twice as great. In contrast, in retail parks footfall declined over the bank holiday weekend from the week before. The bank holiday weekend was particularly positive for towns that appeal to both day and overnight visitors such as coastal and historic towns, demonstrating the significance of staycations this year.

“Bank Holiday Monday was clearly a transfer day for many and an opportunity to restock on food and household essentials, as footfall declined from the previous Monday in both high streets and shopping centres whilst it rose in retail parks, undoubtedly driven by the presence of food stores.

“The positive news for bricks and mortar retail destinations is that footfall last week was noticeably higher than in the same week in 2020 when the August bank holiday also occurred, particularly in high streets; and the gap from 2019 was the smallest of any week since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”

Week beginning 22/08/2021 (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 Destinations14.2%-16.3%4.9%
UK High Streets23.4%-19.6%6.9%
UK Retail Parks3.2%-3.5%0.8%
UK Shopping Centres5.7%-21.6%4.8%
Week beginning 22/08/2021 (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
East10.4%-14.1%4.9%
East Midlands4.9%-21.0%5.5%
Greater London22.2%-15.7%5.1%
North & Yorkshire12.8%-13.9%6.4%
Scotland14.9%-19.7%2.5%
South East13.3%-12.1%5.6%
South West10.2%-14.6%3.0%
Wales3.6%-15.7%2.7%
West Midlands12.7%-17.4%5.9%
Northern Ireland12.7%-14.6%8.0%
Week beginning 22/08/2021 (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 Towns14.8%-19.3%7.2%
Historic Towns21.2%-12.3%6.7%
Regional Cities37.2%-21.1%5.8%
Central London67.6%-28.4%5.5%
Outer London14.6%-18.3%6.9%
Market Towns11.2%-16.9%7.7%

Regional Cities Ex London 20.2% -16.6% 5.9%

Bank Holiday Weekend 2021 – 28th to 30th August – week on week % change
SatSunMon
UK High Streets15.3%14.3%-11.7%
UK Retail Parks-2.9%-2.5%4.5%
UK Shopping Centres7.5%3.1%-10.8%
All UK Destinations9.0%7.5%-7.6%
Bank Holiday Weekend 2021 – 28th to 30th August – 2021 vs 2020
SatSunMon
UK High Streets25.3%20.3%0.3%
UK Retail Parks0.6%0.3%2.2%
UK Shopping Centres4.3%4.0%-3.4%
All UK Destinations14.2%11.5%-0.2%
Bank Holiday Weekend 2021 – 28th to 30th August – 2021 vs 2019
SatSunMon
UK High Streets-15.3%-14.6%-16.7%
UK Retail Parks1.3%0.1%5.3%
UK Shopping Centres-15.4%-13.7%-10.3%
All UK Destinations-11.4%-10.9%-9.9%