UK still cautious as lockdown restrictions are eased

The sunny weather and first of lockdown easing saw increased footfall by just 3.3 percent across all retail destinations between Monday 11 and Saturday 16 May as beaches and historic towns saw greater visitor numbers.

This week was the fourth weekly increase in six weeks, but was a more modest than the rise of 11.7 percent in the previous bank holiday week. Despite this cautious approach, people clearly headed out to destination towns, with rises in footfall from the week before of 8.7 percent in coastal towns and 3.8 percent in historic towns compared with a far more modest increase over the week of just 1.9 percent in high streets generally.

Beaches more popular than retail parks

The 4.1 percent rise in footfall in retail parks was lower than the increase over the week in shopping centres. However, now that garden centres have opened – many of which are located outside of retail parks - it is likely that a proportion of this footfall will have been diverted.

Unsurprisingly Friday and Saturday were the most popular days for heading out, with footfall rising by 21 percent on Friday and by 8.7 percent on Saturday from those days in the previous week.

In contrast, over the five days between Sunday and Thursday, footfall declined by an average of -2.4 percent from the week before. Coastal and historic towns were particularly popular on Friday and Saturday; on Friday, footfall rose by +25.3 percent in coastal towns and by +19.3 percent in historic towns.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “it certainly appears that the relaxing of restrictions was well timed, as people had already started to venture out over the past six weeks, and in fact it appears that they are continuing to heed the government’s guidance and are adopting a cautious approach with regard to leaving their homes.”

Image © FashionUnited; Article source: Springboard


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