// Springboard is forecasting that UK footfall will rise by 19.7% from the previous week following Freedom Day
// Footfall is set to jump over the course of the first weekend of freedom
Following today’s ‘Freedom Day,’ retail experts Springboard predict a 19.7 per cent increase in footfall in the UK this week, as Covid19 restrictions including face coverings and social distancing, are no longer mandatory in England.
Whilst the removal of restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be as comprehensive as they will be in England, the fact that footfall in England accounts for around 85 per cent of all footfall in the UK, will drive an uplift in overall shopper activity.
Latest insight from Springboard reveals that footfall will peak over the course of the first weekend of freedom with rises of 32.2 per cent on Friday 23 July and 39.5 per cent on Saturday 24 July.
- M&S warns of reduced store hours ahead of Freedom Day
- Face masks to remain compulsory in London’s Borough Market
- 64% adults will keep wearing face masks in shops – ONS
Over the course of the week, footfall across all UK retail destinations is expected to be only 20.1 per cent lower than the same week in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
The degree of the increase in footfall is expected to differ across the three key retail destination types.
High streets will see an increase of 25 per cent where footfall will be supported by the increased customer numbers that will be allowed in restaurants, coffee shops and pubs, due to the removal of social distancing measures that currently limit venue capacities.
Due to the removal of social distancing restrictions that currently limit venue capacity, high streets will see a 25 per cent rise in footfall, which will be backed by larger customer numbers that will be allowed in restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs.
However, with 74 per cent of all footfall occurring between 6am and 5pm, and a further 16 per cent between 5pm and 8pm it is the increased volume during daytime and early evening hours that will fuel this increase rather than night time footfall which is typically driven by nightclubs and bars.
Footfall is predicted to increase by 18 per cent in shopping centers over the week, but the increase will be relatively modest because, although having hospitality shops, shopping malls do not tend to have an active evening and late night economy.
The rise in footfall in retail parks is expected to be lowest at 10 per cent, as customer numbers in these destinations have already bounced back to a greater extent that in the other two destination types.
The anticipated uplift following Phase 3 of the governments easing of restrictions is forecast to be significantly greater than the one per cent rise that occurred when indoor hospitality reopened in May 2021 as phase 2.
However, as retail stores are already trading and indoor hospitality is operational, footfall
across the UK will not see the same rise of 87.8 per cent which occurred during phase 1 when non-essential retail reopened in April 2021, following lockdown 3.
Springboard highlight that ‘Freedom Day’ coincides with the end of the school year. As summer holidays commence across the UK, footfall is expected to gain momentum as the week’s progress, particularly if the weather is warm and dry and many Brit’s enjoy a ‘Summer Staycation’.
As the end of the school year coincides with ‘Freedom Day,’ with summer holidays beginning across the UK, Springboard says footfall is projected to increase as the week progresses, especially if the weather is nice and dry, as many Brits enjoy a Summer Staycation.
Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle commented: “The long awaited ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday will see footfall bounce back across the UK, to a more significant magnitude than when indoor hospitality reopened in May, with rises seen across all three retail destinations,”
“With summer holiday commencing and many opting for a Summer Staycation in the UK, footfall will continue to rise throughout July and into August as many look to enjoy the good weather.”