Aug 24, 2021
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​London leads the way again as weekly retail footfall remains soft across the UK

Aug 24, 2021

Footfall in Central and Greater London continued to outpace the rest of the UK in the latest week, according to Springboard.

London's appeal continues as weekly footfall numbers rise again - Photo: Nigel Taylor

Total footfall across the country’s retail destinations declined 1.7% in the seven days between 15 and 21 September from the week before, with high streets seeing the biggest decline, down 2.2%.

Declines were more modest elsewhere, with shopping centres falling 1.3% and retail parks dipping 1%. 

However, there was at least some joy for Central London with footfall rising 5% week-on-week, continuing a seven-week run of rises. There was also a small boost for Greater London too where footfall rose marginally (+0.2%).

However, while poor weather continued to dampen consumer enthusiasm, the latest figures were also up against tough year-ago comparisons when the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme was in its final weeks. Footfall then rose 4.1% across all destinations.

Excluding the London region, footfall declined across the rest of the UK last week, with week-on-week dips ranging from -0.6% in the South East to -3.3% in the North & Yorkshire. 

The impact of the rainy weather on visits was clear, with declines in footfall in coastal and historic towns of 2.9% and 3.3% respectively. Even local high streets and city centres held little appeal, with a decline of 3.9% in market towns and 4.6% in regional cities outside of London. 

The impact of the drop in activity last week meant that that the gap from the 2019 footfall level widened once again to -20.6%, with the greatest impact being in high streets where the gap from 2019 moved to -26.3% from -21.7% last week. 

The glimmer of good news is that footfall overall is 15.1% higher than in the same week last year, and up 20.8% in high streets. By contrast, the gains made from last year in shopping centres and retail parks are more modest (+10.4% and +7.7% respectively). 

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