Heatwave causes high street footfall slump
Soaring temperatures and an absence of international tourists saw high street footfall fall by 0.5 percent compared to last week.
The latest data from retail experts Springboard reveals that footfall across UK retail destinations rose marginally last week, up 0.8 percent compared to 3.8 percent in the previous week. Despite the hot weather - which in fact may have proved too hot for shoppers - footfall declined in high streets, while airconditioned shopping centers saw a rise of 2.4 percent.
Brits staycationing boosted footfall in tourist areas, where footfall was marginally up 0.3 percent in coastal towns and 0.9 percent in historic towns.
London suffered the worst decline
The impact of the weather on London was as noticeable but in reverse; whilst footfall declined marginally last year in Central London from the week before by -0.8 percent this year it fell by -4.5 percent. In high streets across Greater London as a whole by footfall dropped by -5.2 percent versus -2.3 percent in the same week last year.
The increase in activity in retail parks last week means that footfall is now just 13.2 percent lower than last year in this destination type, compared with shopping centres and high streets where footfall in both remains over a third lower than in 2019, with annual drops of -37.1 percent and -39.2 percent respectively.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “The first week of the peak summer holiday period delivered spectacularly hot weather but largely lacklustre footfall performance. Customer activity across UK retail destinations rose marginally from the week before but the uplift was less than a third of the increase recorded in the previous week. It was clearly high streets - where footfall marginally decreased - that subdued the overall result, whilst in shopping centres and retail parks footfall rose from the week before.
“Despite the poor performance across high streets nationally, footfall in coastal and historic town centres rose marginally, undoubtedly due to the school holiday period and hot weather, whilst in regional cities and in London in particular footfall declined.”
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