Busier evenings drive UK retail footfall - Springboard
Busier evenings helped UK retail footfall increase in the week after the reopening of indoor dining from the Covid-19 lockdown, a survey showed.
Visits to retail destinations rose 1.1% from a week earlier with the biggest increase in high streets where footfall was up 2.4%, figures from Insight showed. Activity at shopping centres rose 1% and at shopping centres it fell 1.7%.
Footfall increased across the majority of town types, from 2.3% in coastal towns to 11.8% in central London. Visits to local high streets declined as larger destinations moved into favour.
The biggest increase was after 5pm with a rise of 4% across all UK high streets compared with a 0.8% gain earlier in the day. The post-5pm increase was greatest in central London, up 16.3%, and in regional cities where footfall rose 8.5%. This trend followed the restart of indoor dining and drinking at pubs and restaurants in England on 17 May.
Outer London high streets and market towns were affected by the revival of inner cities. In outer London footfall declined 5.2% pre-5pm and 2.7% after 5pm, and in market towns the decline was 3% before 5pm and 0.9% after 5pm.
Footfall is still 28.7% lower than the 2019 level across all UK retail destinations but in retail parks the gap is much smaller at 6.8%.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The reopening of indoor dining on Monday of last week certainly supported footfall in UK retail destinations in face of prolonged and often severe rain across virtually all of the UK for much of the week.
"Footfall rose across all types of town centre, however, there was also a clear gravitation towards larger cities away from local high streets. The greatest benefit for both high streets and shopping centres was most definitely during the evening, when the rise in footfall in each was more than four times as great as during retail trading hours."