Modest uplift in footfall as face coverings become mandatory at retail destinations, Springboard reports

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Latest data from retail experts Springboard reveals that footfall across all retail destinations throughout the UK rose by +2.8% last week from the previous week; a more modest uplift from the week before when face coverings were only mandatory on the Friday and Saturday, during which footfall had risen by +4.4%.  In England, footfall rose by just +2.5% across all destinations, versus more than +4% in each of the other UK nations. 

In high streets throughout the UK, footfall rose by +4.3% from the week before, versus just +1.2% in shopping centres and +1.4% in retail parks.  The week started positively on Sunday for UK high streets with a rise of +6.1%, but on Monday when the rain hit, high street footfall declined from the week before by -15.7%, versus drops of just -3.3% in shopping centres and -0.3% in retail parks. 

On subsequent days, however, along with the weather the tables turned in terms of footfall performance in high streets; between Tuesday and Saturday footfall across UK high streets rose by an average of +7.9% versus just +2.3% in shopping centres and +1.8% in retail parks.  Of the four UK nations it was Wales that benefited from the most significant uplift between Tuesday and Saturday, with a week on week rise over those five days of +14.8% versus +7.1% in England.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, commented: “The first week of the mandatory wearing of face coverings in retail stores in England did not deliver the hoped for uplift in footfall, with a rise over the week across the UK that was virtually half of that in the week before.”

Week on week % change – wb 26/07/2020 (Week 31)
 UKEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
High Streets4.3%4.1%7.5%4.8%3.8%
Retail Parks1.4%1.3%0.7%1.2%6.6%
Shopping Centres1.2%0.3%3.0%7.8%6.7%
All destinations2.8%2.5%4.8%4.7%4.5%
Year on year % change – wb 26/07/2020 (Week 31)
 UKEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
High Streets-44.3%-44.8%-43.6%-43.3%-33.2%
Retail Parks-18.7%-18.5%-22.8%-19.9%-4.2%
Shopping Centres-41.8%-41.6%-47.5%-45.5%-19.1%
All destinations-37.6%-37.7%-39.6%-38.3%-29.7%