UK retail footfall to surge in April as non-essential stores, hospitality reopen
Footfall across all UK retail destinations is set to surge once non-essential stores and outdoor hospitality reopens in April, according to retail analysts Springboard.
Footfall will rise by up to 47.9% week-on-week from 12 April, Springboard said, with high streets likely to see the biggest rise, of 59%. Springboard pointed to the fact that both non-essential stores and outdoor hospitality are reopening on the same date this time, unlike after the first lockdown, when hospitality reopened two weeks after retail.
At shopping centres and retail parks, footfall is expected to rise by 46% and 26%, respectively.
At the end of the first and second national lockdowns, footfall in the first week increased by more than 40%, according to Springboard, but bigger rises are expected this time around "due to the success of the UK vaccination programme".
The reopening in mid-April will see footfall rise by 128.5% in comparison to the same week a year earlier, but it will remain 61.8% below the 2019 level.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: "As we approach the 12-month mark since the start of the pandemic in the UK, lockdown fatigue is at its height and the increases in footfall over the last five weeks have indicated the pent up demand for a return to normality. We know from when non-essential retail reopened at the end of Lockdowns 1 in June and 2 in December that footfall will rise sharply and we anticipate this will be more prominent than ever before with a rise of up to +47.9%.
"By mid-April, consumers will be looking for sensory and social retail experiences, reconnecting with their favourite brands and purchasing new wardrobes for a summer of social events. We are anticipating a strong initial uplift in April that will continue to rise over the summer months as the economy reopens in the UK."