May 17, 2021
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​UK high street footfall bounces back after poor Bank Holiday, London strong

May 17, 2021

Footfall in UK retail destinations rose a modest 0.5% last week, despite continuing poor weather across the country.

Central London footfall is getting stronger, figures show - Photo: Nigel Taylor

And that albeit mildly positive number was driven wholly by a stronger showing across the UK’s high streets, particularly in Central London, latest data from Springboard shows.

UK high street footfall rose 3.9% week-on-week in the seven-day period (9-16 May) as retail park footfall declined 3.4% and traffic fell by 2.8% in shopping centres.

Springboard said the rise in high street footfall was “polarised”, with significant uplifts on Monday and Saturday (+19.1% and +19% respectively) which were bounce-backs from declines in footfall on those two days over the bank holiday weekend. 

By contrast, the stronger performance of retail parks and shopping centres over the Bank Holiday weekend meant they didn't benefit last week. 

Even over the four days between Tuesday and Friday -- when footfall dipped below the level on the same four days in the previous week -- it was high streets that fared the best with only a marginal drop of 0.2% versus -1.4% in retail parks and -3.3% in shopping centres. 

Meanwhile, footfall rose across all types of high street, but the most modest rises of 0.5% and 1.6% were in coastal and historic towns, which are appealing to leisure visitors.

Meanwhile, regional cities outside of London rose 1.7%, with a rise in footfall of +5.7% in market towns showing “it was clear that shoppers stayed local”. 

But the most positive indicator was a rise in footfall in Central London of 4.2%, suggesting that shoppers are starting to feel sufficiently confident to make trips to the capital. 

Despite this, London still has significant ground to make up as footfall in Central London remains 61.8% below the 2019 level as the capital remains starved of its most important asset -- international tourists. 

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