// Footfall across all UK retail destinations rose by 2.8% last week from the previous week
// In England, where face coverings are mandatory in shops, footfall rose by just 2.5% across all destinations, versus 4% in other UK nations
// Footfall across UK retail destinations remains more than a third lower than a year ago at -37.6%
The first full week of mandatory coverings in retail shops around England has led to sluggish overall footfall figures across the UK, new data suggests.
According to experts at Springboard, footfall across all retail destinations throughout the UK rose by 2.8 per cent last week from the previous week.
Springboard said that this was a “modest uplift” from the week before when face coverings were only mandatory on the Friday and Saturday, during which footfall had risen by 4.4 per cent across the country.
However in England, during the first full week of mandatory face coverings footfall rose by just 2.5 per cent across all destinations compared to more than four per cent in each of the other UK nations.
Meanwhile, the pandemic was still having an adverse affect on visitor numbers, with footfall across all UK retail destinations remaining more than a third lower than the same week year ago, with a 37.6 per cent year-on-year drop.
In high streets throughout the UK, footfall rose by 4.3 per cent from the week before, versus just 1.2 per cent in shopping centres and 1.4 per cent in retail parks.
The week started positively on Sunday for UK high streets with a rise of 6.1 per cent, but on Monday when the rain hit, high street footfall declined from the week before by 15.7 per cent, versus drops of just 3.3 per cent in shopping centres and 0.3 per cent in retail parks.
On subsequent days, Springboard said the tables turned in terms of weather and footfall performance in high streets.
Between Tuesday and Saturday footfall across UK high streets rose by an average of 7.9 per cent versus just 2.3 per cent in shopping centres and 1.8 per cent in retail parks.
Of the four UK nations, it was Wales that benefited from the most significant uplift between Tuesday and Saturday, with a week-on-week rise over those five days of 14.8 per cent compared to 7.1 per cent in England.
“The first week of the mandatory wearing of face coverings in retail stores in England did not deliver the hoped for uplift in footfall, with a rise over the week across the UK that was virtually half of that in the week before,” Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said.