Retail footfall rises ahead of high street reopenings amid warm weather

Spring People walk along the seafront in Brighton, East SussexApr 2nd 2021 (PA Wire)
14:09pm, Tue 06 Apr 2021
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UK retail footfall ticked higher last week as shoppers enjoyed warmer weather and moved closer to the reopening of non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality.

Figures from retail advisory firm Springboard showed that footfall across retail destinations rose by 8.5% from the previous week.

Shoppers particularly went to retail parks and high streets, which saw improvements of 9.7% and 9% respectively.

Meanwhile, it said UK shopping centres saw a 6.3% increase as a desire from shoppers to be outside tempered growth.

Footfall rose across all three destination types, but external environments inevitably benefited more than shopping centres

However, footfall for the Easter bank holiday was nonetheless 7.6% lower than the same four days in the previous week.

The cold weather on Monday impacted the overall result for the Easter weekend, with a drop in footfall on Monday from the week before of 20.2% across all retail destinations.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “With exceptional weather across most of the UK, it was not a surprise that last week footfall rose across all retail destinations from the week before, and with the warmest weather occurring in the south it was unsurprising that this part of the UK benefited the most.

Footfall rose across all three destination types, but external environments inevitably benefited more than shopping centres, where the rise in footfall was a third lower than in high streets and retail parks.

“The Easter weekend as a whole (Friday to Monday) was disappointing, with a drop in footfall from the same four days in the previous week, however the bank holiday weekend was hampered by the cold weather on Monday.

“Despite this, footfall was more than double that over Easter in 2020, although still more than a half lower than over Easter in 2019.”

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