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London lags behind in UK footfall recovery

By Huw Hughes



Image: FashionUnited

Footfall across all UK retail destinations dropped by a marginal 0.2 percent last week compared to the week before, new data reveals.

The small fall was driven by a drop of 2 percent in retail parks, while there were small increases in high streets and shopping centres of 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

That’s according to the latest figures by Springboard. Compared to pre-Covid 2019 levels, footfall in market towns and coastal towns were down 25.5 percent and 28.2 percent, respectively, while Central London was still down 53.2 percent.

“Variable weather meant that footfall across UK retail destinations as a whole last week remained virtually level with the week before, albeit there were slight variations between urban locations of high streets and shopping centres where footfall rose marginally and retail parks where there was a slight decline in activity,” said Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle in a statement.

Shoppers gravitated towards larger city centres during the week, with a rise in footfall of 9 percent in Central London and a drop of just 0.9 percent in regional cities outside of the capital compared to drops of 2.5 percent in market towns and 6.8 percent in coastal towns.

“The lack of uplift in footfall on a week on week basis means that the gap from 2019 widened for the third consecutive week, although footfall remained noticeably higher than in the same week in 2020 which was the second week of trading following the lifting of Lockdown 1,” Wehrle added.