Footfall in UK retail destinations rose by +6.8% last week, Springboard reports

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Latest data from retail experts Springboard reveals that footfall in UK retail destinations rose by +6.8% last week from the week before, only a fifth less than the rise of +8.5% in the same week last year.

The latest results are the fifth consecutive week of uplift, despite the national lockdown and come just hours ahead of the Prime Ministers highly anticipated announcement for the roadmap out of lockdown later today.

As in 2020, it was high streets that were the clear beneficiaries, with footfall increasing by +10.5%, a staggering result as it was only marginally below the increase of +11.1% in the same week last year, when retail was trading normally.

Shopping centres did not fare as well, although footfall still rose by +4.5% (versus +9.8% last year), whilst in retail parks activity only rose marginally (by +1.2%) which was largely in line with the increase of +1.4% in the same week last year.

Footfall rose on all but one day last week across all UK retail destinations, and on every day in high streets. In fact, the rises in activity in high streets last week were in double digits on four of the seven days, peaking at +26.7% on Monday.

Amongst the range of town centres, the increase in activity in Central London out shadowed other types of town; footfall rose by a staggering +23.6% in Central London which in combination with a +12.5% rise in Outer London meant that the average for high streets in the Greater London region was the second highest of any part of the UK.

Despite the increase from last week, footfall across all retail destinations remains -62.1% lower than in the same week last year, although in retail parks it is -35.3% lower due to the frequency of trips to large supermarkets for food shopping.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, commented: “You could be fooled into thinking that last week was a normal half term week rather than in the eighth week of a national lockdown, as footfall continued to rise for the fifth consecutive week. With the magnitude of increase continuing, this provides further evidence of significant pent up demand amongst shoppers to visit retail destinations and indication of the significant surge back to stores when non-essential retail reopens in the coming weeks/months.”

Week beginning 14/02/2021 (Sunday to Saturday)
Year on year % change in footfallWeek on week % change in footfall
All UK Destinations-62.1%6.8%
UK High Streets-69.4%10.5%
UK Retail Parks-35.3%1.2%
UK Shopping Centres-72.4%4.5%
Week beginning 14/02/2021 (Sunday to Saturday) – All UK Retail Destinations
Year on year % change in footfallWeek on week % change in footfall
East-61.7%9.9%
East Midlands-66.3%4.9%
Greater London-63.9%11.6%
North & Yorkshire-58.2%4.1%
Scotland-62.1%13.0%
South East-57.7%7.0%
South West-60.6%0.9%
Wales-65.5%-1.0%
West Midlands-57.6%6.5%
Northern Ireland-67.0%-0.8%
Week beginning 14/02/2021 (Sunday to Saturday)
Year on year % change in footfallWeek on week % change in footfall
England-62.0%6.8%
Wales-65.5%-1.0%
Scotland-62.1%13.0%
Northern Ireland-67.0%-0.8%
Week beginning 14/02/2021 (Sunday to Saturday)
Year on year % change in footfallWeek on week % change in footfall
Coastal Town-59.0%2.2%
Historic Town-70.6%11.8%
Regional Cities-82.1%14.6%
Central London-86.0%23.6%
Greater London-52.8%12.5%
Market Towns-58.9%9.4%
Regional Cities Ex London-76.4%8.8%