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High streets saw decline in Bank Holiday footfall due to weather

Retail

High streets saw decline in Bank Holiday footfall due to weather

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

4 May 2021

The first bank holiday of 2021 after the easing of restrictions kept shoppers at bay as the wet weather saw high street footfall drop -6.1 percent in comparison to the week before.

Instead, footfall rose by 2.8 percent in shopping centres and 1.6 percent in retail parks. In contrast, in Scotland and Northern Ireland following the opening of non-essential retail stores and outdoor hospitality, footfall rose by 74.9 percent and 45.7 percent respectively, said Springboard.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “Footfall across UK retail destinations dipped a little last week from the week before, driven by fewer shoppers visiting high streets whilst in retail parks and shopping centres customer activity rose. In part, this is likely to have been due to the rain and cooler temperatures in the second half of the week in a number of areas across the UK which will have deterred shoppers from external locations.

Despite this, activity rose in regional cities outside of London, whilst in tourist destinations and smaller high streets it declined, suggesting that the appeal of major stores that are present in large city centres was enough to offset the less favourable weather. The uplift in footfall in both Scotland and Northern Ireland following the opening of non-essential retail last week was significant, with these being the only areas of the UK where footfall rose from the week before.

Over the bank holiday weekend, however, footfall across the UK strengthened once more, increasing from the previous week on both Saturday and Sunday although Monday was adversely impacted by the wind and rain.”