Retail footfall rises as shoppers return to high streets - Springboard
Footfall at UK retail destinations rose last week as shoppers returned to high streets, according to data released on Monday by retail analyst Springboard.
Footfall increased 1.5% from the week before, with footfall on high streets up 7.2%. However, footfall at retail parks and shopping centres declined 4.9% and 4%, respectively.
Compared with 2019, before the pandemic hit, retail sales were down 21.3% across all UK retail destinations last week.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard said: "The second week of the year delivered mixed results; an overall increase in footfall across all UK retail destinations from the week before, but a rise that was driven wholly by high streets, whilst in both retail parks and shopping centres activity declined. It seems that whilst the government's Plan B guidance to work from home if possible is still in place, there are the first signs that employees are starting to drift back to the office; for the first time since mid-November footfall rose in high streets from the week before across all periods of the day, with a double digit increase in the first part of the day, when employees travel in to offices, for the second consecutive week.
"In addition, footfall rose in all types of town, including Central London and regional cities outside of the capital, and the increase in Springboard's Central London Back to the Office benchmark (comprising those locations in close proximity to offices) exceeded the increase in footfall across Central London as a whole Ultimately, the week was also one of two halves, with declines in footfall from Sunday to Wednesday (reaching double digits on Monday and Tuesday), but then followed by three consecutive days with significant uplifts in footfall."