Retail footfall rises as workers return to the office
Footfall at UK retail destinations rose last week as workers returned to the office, according to research published on Monday by retail analysts Springboard.
Footfall was up 2.7% from the week before, with high streets seeing a 3.7% jump, while footfall at shopping centres and retail parks rose 2.3% and 0.9%, respectively.
In central London and large city centres outside of London, footfall was 6.5% and 6.1% higher, respectively, while the areas of central London dominated by offices saw an 8.8% increase.
However, both outer London and market towns across the UK, which have benefited from home working, saw footfall rise by just 1.5%.
In a sign that the return to the office has started, footfall over the Monday to Friday working week rose 6.7% last week but declined 1.5% on Saturday. Meanwhile, footfall at shopping centres was 3% higher between Monday and Friday but rose by just 0.4% on Saturday.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: "Footfall in UK retail destinations last week rose from the week before, which is the first rise in the past four weeks and a particularly positive result as footfall declined in the same week in both 2019 and 2020.
"Footfall rose in all three destination types, but by far the greatest uplift occurred in high streets, where the increase was a third higher than in shopping centres and four times as great as that in retail parks. High street footfall was undoubtedly supported by a shift back to the office, demonstrated by a greater uplift from the week before in central London and large city centres outside of the capital, than in smaller high streets and in outer London."