Jun 7, 2021
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Happy Days! Weekly UK high street footfall jumps on sunny weather

Jun 7, 2021

UK high streets basked in the warmth of consumer popularity last week, latest figures from Springboard reveal. Indeed good weather, a bank holiday and school breaks meant footfall across all UK retail destinations rose 11.6% week-on-week in the seven days between 30 May-6 June.

Photo: Pexels

But it was high streets that shone with visits jumping 17.4% on the previous week, soundly beating the 8.7% rise at shopping centres and well ahead of the meagre 2.3% retail parks uplift. 

In coastal and historic town centres, the rise in activity was significantly greater, leaping 37.1% in the former and by 24.8% in the latter. As visitors flocked to resorts, the south-west of England benefited with a rise in footfall that was greater than in any other part of the UK (+18.8% overall, and +30.8% in high streets). Central London took more of a back seat, but with a still-impressive rise of 23.8%, while city centres elsewhere in the UK rose 19.3%.

This meant that the gap in footfall from 2019 narrowed to -39.5% in Central London and just -12.9% in regional cities across the UK, recording the most modest annual decline in footfall since before the pandemic, noted Springboard. 

Some visitors did stay local but the increases in footfall were more modest at 10.4% in Outer London and 9.7% in market towns across the UK.

Diane Wehrle, Insights director at Springboard, said: “A combination of the late May bank holiday, incredible weather and the school half-term holiday had a hugely beneficial effect on customer activity in UK retail destinations last week; it not only led to the greatest weekly increase in footfall since the reopening of non-essential retail in April, but also the most modest annual decline since the start of the pandemic”.

She added: “While the attraction of coastal and historic towns to visitors meant they benefited the most last week, there was still a significant rise in footfall in Central London and in other regional cities across the UK”.

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