Eat Out to Help Out “enticed” Brits as August retail footfall recovers

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Eat Out to Help Out scheme springboard
Retail footfall has improved during August for the third consecutive month
// UK footfall declines but continues to recover, Springboard says
// Retail parks witnessed the highest recovery while footfall on high streets was 38% lower & shopping centres down 34%
// Meanwhile shop vacancies jumped to the highest level since January 2014 after a raft of store closures

Retail footfall has improved for the third consecutive month as visitors were “enticed” by the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Overall footfall in August declined by 31 per cent year-on-year, an improvement on July when it dropped 39.4 per cent year-on-year, according to data from Springboard.

Retail park footfall boosted the overall August figures, declining by 11 per cent year-on-year compared to the 19.9 per cent decline in July.


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Footfall on UK high streets was 38 per cent lower in August than the same month last year, while shopping centres were down by 34 per cent.

Meanwhile, small high streets continued to benefit from people working from home as many chose to shop local.

Separately, shop vacancies jumped to the highest level since January 2014 after a raft of store closures thanks to a wave of Covid-fuelled administrations, CVAs and general restructures.

Springboard said 11 per cent of UK store sites now vacant, compared with 9.8 per cent in January.

“In August, UK retail footfall continued to strengthen for the third consecutive month, with a drop of 31 per cent from last year, as the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme enticed visitors back to UK retail destinations,” Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said.

“All three destination types benefited, although retail parks remain a clear winner in the competition for shoppers.

“Despite the growth, the rate of improvement was only around half that in June and July 2020 when non-essential retail stores and hospitality reopened following the lockdown, suggesting that the climb back to pre-Covid footfall levels is going to be a steep one.”

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