Dec 5, 2022
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UK retail lifted by stronger weekly footfall numbers

Dec 5, 2022

At last, some much-needed good news for UK retailers. Footfall rose 5.4% week-on-week across all UK retail destinations in the seven days to 3 December, said Springboard.

Photo; Nigel Taylor

Increases were seen across all three key destination types, up 6.9% in high streets, 4.8% in shopping centres and 3% ahead in retail parks.

The latest gains also follow pre-Covid trends when footfall rose in the equivalent week in every year between 2013 and 2019. However, the latest report comes with a note of caution. As consumers face the cost-of-living crisis, the latest gain is still below the 7.9% rise recorded in the same week in 2019, noted Springboard.

The increase in footfall last week from the week before meant that the annual increase doubled to +8.8% from +4.2% in the week before last, and the gap from the 2019 footfall level narrowed to -11% from -14.1% in the previous week.

Footfall rose every day last week apart from Friday when it was understandably 6.1% lower than on Black Friday in the week before. On Saturday footfall rose by 2.2% across all destinations. It also rose 7% in Central London and by 7.5% in cities across the UK “as shoppers gravitated to larger destinations for present buying”, said Springboard.

Geographically, all areas of the UK benefited, with increases that ranged from +18% in the East to +10.1% in Wales, +12.3% in the South West and +12.6% in Northern Ireland.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “All three destination types benefited from the uplift in shopper activity, but the largest week-on-week increases occurred in high streets and shopping centres. Somewhat inevitably, given their critical mass of retailers, it was large city centres and Central London that fared the best of any type of town, with far more modest rises in market towns and in Outer London.”

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