A retail rebound: UK retail footfall jumps fourfold

Retail footfall figures are showing strong signs of improvement. Shopper numbers across all UK retail destinations rose by 4.1 per cent last week (for the week ending 22 August).

Industry researcher, Springboard, said the UK-wide number compared to just a 0.8 per cent increase the previous week and a 1.8 per cent rise in the same seven-day period in 2019.

A seven per cent jump in London and the south east led to a significant acceleration in activity.

Shopping centres were the clear winners with a week-on-week increase of 7.1 per cent, while high streets saw footfall increase by 3.2 per cent and retail parks 2.7 per cent.

However, big city centres are still bearing the brunt of the crisis, with shoppers and workers failing to return after the lockdown eased and shops reopened.

Springboard reported that in Central London shopper numbers remain 61.2 per cent lower than last year and 49.8 per cent lower in regional cities across the country.

Meanwhile, the data specialist also said that shopper numbers in smaller, more local high streets or holiday towns have recovered to a far greater extent.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said this was the sixteenth consecutive week in which the annual footfall decline has lessened: “this offers a glimmer of hope for retailers,” she said, adding that increased quarantine measures on a number of overseas holiday destinations had also lifted UK footfall.