Footfall drops almost 40% despite hospitality reopenings

springboard covid-19 lockdown reopening
The increase in footfall over the coming weeks is likely to be gradual
// Overall UK retail footfall drops over 39% during July
// On high streets alone, footfall levels dropped 47.2%
// The levels are an improvement of nearly a fifth from June

The UK high street has seen footfall drop by over 40 per cent during July as Brits continue to stay home following the lockdown ease.

For the four weeks covering July 5 to August 1, overall footfall across all retail destinations declined by 39.4 per cent, an improvement of nearly a fifth on June, according to data from Springboard.

However, on high streets alone footfall levels dropped by 47.2 per cent, while it was a 42 per cent drop in shopping centres and 19.9 per cent decline in retail parks.


Springboard said the improvement in footfall during July was boosted by reopenings across the hospitality sector.

While high streets and shopping centres saw the most noticeable improvement, retail parks had the advantage of ease of access by car, free parking, open air environments and larger stores.

The introduction of the mandatory wearing of face coverings also occurred at the tail end of the of the month, so its contribution to footfall for a regular monthly period is yet to be established.

Physical retail destinations are still only attracting six out of every 10 shoppers that visited last year as online shopping becomes preferable.

The significance of online spending, which exceeds the CRR’s forecast for 2028, is unlikely to decline.

Other factors constraining footfall are the lack of tourism, the increase in people working from home and rising unemployment.

Footfall in central London – which is reliant on tourism – remained 69 per cent lower in July than in 2019.

Despite this, the increase in footfall over the coming weeks is likely to be gradual.

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