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Freedom Day footfall to surge 20 percent on opening day


Image: Pexels
By Don-Alvin Adegeest

19 Jul 2021

Stores, pubs and clubs are open, the sun is out, as are the people. Today marks Freedom Day, the UK government’s official ending of Covid-19 restrictions, which retail experts Springboard have forecast a significant rise in footfall.

The biggest increases are to come on the weekend, with footfall expected to rise nearly 40 percent on both Friday and Saturday 24 and 25 July. Overall the high street will see a 25 percent visitors surge, now that social distancing is a requirement of the past.

Shopping centres are likely to see footfall rise by 18 percent and retail parks 10 percent. Overall footfall will be just -20.1 percent below the pre-pandemic levels seen in the same week in 2019.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “The long awaited ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday will see footfall bounce back across the UK, to a more significant magnitude than when indoor hospitality reopened in May, with rises seen across all three retail destinations. With summer holiday commencing and many opting for a Summer Staycation in the UK, footfall will continue to rise throughout July and into August as many look to enjoy the good weather.

“Despite the removal of covid restrictions, the recently increased infection rate is likely to make some shoppers more cautious about venturing out into what could be busy shopping environments. Additionally, many workers have not yet returned to their offices and are unlikely to do so full time, which particularly impacts larger towns and cities the volumes of footfall are greatest.”