High street footfall drops due to cold temperatures

Retail sales grew in July, according to the (BRC and KPMG sales monitor, but still remained below pre-pandemic levels.
New data shows spending is up but at a slower rate than hoped,
// High street footfall declined last week due to drop in temperatures
// Customers flocked to shopping centres due to wind and rain
// Bank holiday weekend footfall strengthened, increasing from the previous week

Footfall across UK retail destinations has declined by two per cent last week from the week before as temperatures dropped.

The drop was driven by a decline of 6.1 per cent in high streets whilst footfall rose by 2.8 per cent in shopping centres and 1.6 per cent in retail parks.

Over the bank holiday weekend, footfall strengthened, increasing from the previous week
across all UK destinations by 3.2 per cent on Saturday and 7.2 per cent on Sunday.

READ MORE: One in seven retail shops now empty as vacancies rise

Footfall also rose on Saturday by 20.9 per cent and Sunday 31.1 per cent in regional
cities outside London.

In contrast, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, footfall rose by 74.9 per cent and 45.7 per cent respectively.

On Monday, footfall rose marginally from the previous week by 0.7 per cent, although the drop in temperatures due to wind and rain had an impact on footfall in high streets.

By the end of the week on Saturday, the gap in footfall from 2019 in all UK retail destinations had widened to 25.9 per cent from 19.9 per cent in the week before.

“Footfall across UK retail destinations dipped a little last week from the week before, driven by fewer shoppers visiting high streets whilst in retail parks and shopping centres customer activity rose,” Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said.

“In part, this is likely to have been due to the rain and cooler temperatures in the second half of the week in a number of areas across the UK which will have deterred shoppers from external locations.

“Despite this, activity rose in regional cities outside of London, whilst in tourist destinations and smaller high streets it declined, suggesting that the appeal of major stores that are present in large city centres was enough to offset the less favourable weather.

“The uplift in footfall in both Scotland and Northern Ireland following the opening of non-essential retail last week was significant, with these being the only areas of the UK where footfall rose from the week before.”

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