Jan 17, 2022
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UK weekly footfall rises as more office workers hit high streets

Jan 17, 2022

Early signs of the confidence shown by workers returning to their offices meant there was a boost for UK high street footfall in the latest week.

Photo: Nigel Taylor

Footfall across UK retail destinations rose 1.5% week-on-week in the seven days to 15 January, emanating wholly from high streets where footfall jumped 7.2%, according to Springboard

By comparison, footfall in retail parks declined 4.9% and shopping centres recorded a 4% dip.

This is supported by the increase in footfall across towns from the previous week, which ranged from +3.6% in historic towns to +12% in Springboard's Central London Back to the Office benchmark. 

Yet from Sunday to Wednesday, footfall actually declined every day, averaging -7.4% over the four days and -12.4% over Monday and Tuesday. 

It was from Thursday to Saturday that footfall increased every day from the previous week, averaging +13.4% over the three days and peaking on Saturday with an uplift of +17.3% from the Saturday before. That Saturday performance is unlikely to have been directly linked to the office return but would have been a general vote of confidence in physical shopping.

In high streets, the uplift over the final three days of the week from the week before was even greater, averaging +21.2% and peaking at +30.1% on Saturday. 

By sharp contrast, footfall in retail parks on Saturday was 2.7% lower than in the week before.

The gap from 2019 narrowed marginally to -21.3% across all UK retail destinations last week, but the strong performance of high streets improved their position relative to 2019 to -26.9% from -30.9% in the week before. 

By contrast, the drop in footfall in retail parks and shopping centres meant that the gap in footfall from 2019 in both destination types widened to -4.2% and -26% respectively.

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