High street footfall rises 174% as England & Wales exit lockdown

Springboard covid-19 pandemic lockdown
Week-on-week, footfall was up by over 100% in UK high streets and shopping centres
// Footfall rises as non-essential retailers in England and Wales reopened on Monday
// Footfall was up by just over 100% week-on-week up to 12pm on Monday across UK
// Spending in England was up 500 per cent in hairdressing salons

High streets across England and Wales have witnessed an immediate comeback in footfall as non-essential retailers reopened on Monday for the first time in over three months.

The number of people in shopping destinations by 5pm on Monday was more than double the level of the previous Monday and only just over a quarter lower than 2019 levels, according to analysts at Springboard.

Across all UK retail destinations, footfall was up by just over 100 per cent week-on-week up to 12pm on Monday.


Annually, footfall was up more than four-fold. Shoppers and retailers were still expected to follow social distancing guidelines, so compared with 2019 levels, UK retail footfall was down 36 per cent up until 12pm on Monday.

Week-on-week, footfall was up by more than 100 per cent in UK high streets and shopping centres.

Week-on-week, high streets witnessed a footfall rise of 174 per cent, shopping centres 217 per cent, and retail parks 9.8 per cent.

Central London witnessed the biggest rise in footfall, with a 178 per cent rise, while coastal towns saw a 141.4 per cent rise.

In retail parks, visitor numbers were 12 per cent lower weekly as of 12pm on Monday.

Week-on-week, East Midlands saw the biggest rise in footfall with a 204.2 per cent rise, East England saw 157.1 per cent rise, England 159.8 per cent, Ireland 89.6 per cent, North & Yorkshire 192.7 per cent, Scotland 13.4 per cent, while Wales saw 184 per cent.

Spending in England was up 500% in hairdressing salons and nearly tripled in shops in the morning, compared with a typical Monday before the pandemic.

Pubs got off to a slower start, but takings were still up 150 per cent on normal, pre-pandemic levels just before lunch, with the biggest surges in Romford and Chester.

With snow flurries in some places and cold weather across the country, Springboard said shopping centres reported the biggest rise in footfall, followed by high streets.

Shoppers started queueing before 7am outside some Primark stores.

“As expected, stores have been very busy, but we’re more than ready and very confident in the safety measures we have in place. The mood has been incredibly upbeat and positive,” Primark chief executive Paul Marchant said.

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