- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Footfall across all UK retail destinations rose by 6 percent over the week up to Saturday, August 29, leading to an annual decline of 26.1 percent, a “noticeable improvement” on the year-on-year drop of 30.7 percent in the week before, explained retail experts Springboard.
The final week of August was boosted by the last full week of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, as Springboard’s data showed that footfall in all three destination types rose from the week before, mitigating annual declines in each, but the winner last week was shopping centres.
The cool rainy weather encouraged shoppers inside covered shopping centres, added Springboard, leading to a 9.1 percent rise in footfall from the week before, leaving footfall 25.6 percent lower than in 2019, however, marking the best result of any week so far from the start of lockdown.
Footfall across the UK's high streets was “strengthened,” rising by 4.8 percent from the week before, but the recovery of high streets was “hampered by far lower levels of activity in large cities which account for the greatest volumes,” which means footfall is still 34.9 percent lower than last year.
Bank Holiday weekend proved to be a success for all retail destinations with an annual drop of just 11 percent up to 5pm on Bank Holiday Monday.
In both regional cities and Central London footfall strengthened on each day, with annual declines of 20.5 percent and 39.3 percent up to 5pm on Monday, compared with a drop of 37.6 percent and 52.6 percent on Saturday.
On Monday, footfall rose from Bank Holiday Monday last year by 2.5 percent in retail parks and by 2.3 percent in market towns across the UK.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard said in a statement: “The last full week of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme led to the most positive footfall result of any week so far with increases in all three destination types from the week before, and year on year declines that were the most modest since the start of the lockdown.
“Not only did the week as a whole yield far more positive results those previously but, given the situation, we find ourselves in and the much cooler weather this year, the Bank Holiday weekend proved to be a remarkable success for retail destinations.”