// Footfall up 19.5% week-on-week as all of the UK enjoyed its first weekend since Oct lockdown-free
// However, compared to last year, footfall was still 29.9% lower, Springboard says
Shoppers returned to cities and shopping centres in large numbers as customers as the UK enjoyed its first weekend since mid-October when retailers in all four countries no longer had to be in lockdown.
According to data from retail monitoring firm Springboard, overall footfall across the UK increased 19.5 per cent compared with a week earlier.
Shopping centres saw the biggest rise, increasing 26.3 per cent week-on-week, while high streets and retail parks increased 21.1 per cent and nine per cent respectively.
- Non-essential retail reopens as Northern Ireland & parts of Scotland exit lockdown
- Shopper footfall down despite images of post-lockdown crowds
Last weekend was the first weekend since mid-October when no country in the UK was under national lockdown restrictions, which entails the temporary closure of non-essential retailers – and other non-essential businesses on the high street – to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Wales went through a 17-day firebreak shutdown in the latter half of October, which was shortly followed by England entering a four-week lockdown for much of November.
The latter half of November saw 11 council areas in Scotland, including Glasgow, and all of Northern Ireland enter lockdowns for three weeks and two weeks respectively.
Non-essential retailers in those two countries were finally able to reopen on Friday.
Springboard said that over the past two weeks, footfall was still 29.9 per cent lower than in 2019 across all retail destinations.
In high street and shopping centres it was off by 38.1 per cent and 33.2 per cent respectively.
However, retail park footfall was now only 8.6 per cent lower than last year – primarily helped by large supermarkets, which have remained open throughout the various national lockdowns.