Hot weather both helps and hinders UK footfall in latest week
Two weekly footfall reports on Monday showed that visitor traffic to retail destinations continues to climb – both helped and hindered by last week’s heatwave – but that the goal of reaching and even exceeding the same level as 2019 remains elusive.
The Ipsos Retail Traffic Index tracks consumers as they actually enter physical stores and it said that footfall in the non-food sector remained 16.7% lower than the same week in 2019 in the seven days to 19 June. But traffic was up 0.4% compared to the previous week.
Meanwhile, towns outperformed cities by 12.1% points, so the work from home trend is still very clearly with us.
The company said that visits to high streets were 17.6% lower than 2019 but 1.8% higher than the previous week, while retail parks were down 8.4% and up 0.1% on the same basis, and shopping centres were a worrying 22% down against 2019 and up 0.8% on the previous week.
Meanwhile Springboard, which tracks consumers in the general area of high streets, shopping centres and retail parks, said that footfall was up 4.1% from the previous week.
It increased across all three destination types: up 5% in high streets, 3.7% in shopping centres and 2.5% in retail parks, boosted for part of the week by warmer temperatures.
But it wasn't all good news as temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius on Friday led to a 1.2% drop, as consumers worked from home. And footfall dropped across every type of town over the weekend as the rain hit. In historic towns, footfall declined by 13.5%.
It added that Central London visitors on Friday managed to increase, but only by 0.5% versus a 6.5% uplift on Thursday.
The company said that all UK destinations remain down 11.4% against 2019, although they're up 17% compared to this time last year. Retail parks are still doing better than anywhere else with a 0.7% increase against 2019, while shopping centres are down 15.9% compared to three years ago and high streets are down 14.8%.
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