Apr 20, 2022
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More encouraging footfall stats, but UK still not at 2019 levels

Apr 20, 2022

The latest Easter weekend footfall data from Ipsos on Tuesday showed encouraging results for retailers, and now Springboard has added more colour, highlighting the ongoing recovery but also showing that it still has some way to go.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

The specialist footfall tracker said that retail footfall actually rose 15% in the lead-up to Easter weekend as consumers shopped in advance of the four-day break.

And last Thursday alone it was up 21.9% week-on-week with a 27.3% uplift on UK high streets. But its measures showed a marginal drop of 0.1% compared to the directly comparable combined Friday, Saturday and Monday (many stores were closed on Sunday). That was presumably as people made the most of the sunny weather to do something other than shopping.

That said, footfall across UK retail destinations rose by 5.8% on Good Friday specifically from the week before, and in coastal towns it was an impressive 33.6% higher on Good Friday than the prior week, while UK high street footfall was 10% higher. In historic towns it rose by 15.8%, it was up 14.3% in Central London and 14.5% in other large UK city centres.

Saturday saw a much more muted rise of 0.2% while Monday footfall actually dropped 8.6% week-on-week with high streets down 13.5% and shopping centres down 15.2%. Given that Monday was a public holiday and the previous Monday was a normal working day, that was perhaps no surprise.

UK footfall over Easter remained 13% below 2019, but only 4.3% below 2019 in retail parks. And impressively, it was up 119.2% compared to Easter 2021. But this comparison isn’t that surprising given that last Easter was earlier in April and the UK was still in lockdown back then.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “Two factors heavily influenced footfall activity in UK retail destinations over Easter this year: the first factor was the warm and sunny weather, and the second factor was that this the first Easter bank holiday weekend since 2019 with no Covid restrictions.

“[This] was likely a factor in people making trips to retail destinations in advance of Easter, rather than on the weekend itself.”

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