UK footfall improves but London continues to lag well behind pre-Covid rates

UK footfall continues to rise but London continues to lag well behind pre-Covid rates
// London has the lowest footfall of any UK city, relative to pre-COVID levels
// Ipsos said retail parks remain the strongest destination types on both a two-year and weekly comparison

UK retail footfall continues to lag behind the pre-pandemic 2019 period but also to recover from the disaster year of 2020.

The latest weekly report from Ipsos showed that non-food footfall was down 24.6% on a two-year basis last week.

The report also revealed that towns continued to outperform cities by 7.7% points, showing that while workers are returning to their city centre offices and tourists are trickling back into the UK, there’s still some way to go before we reach normality.


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In the seven days to February 13, the best-performing region was Northern England where store visits were down by ‘only’ 20.8% compared to two years ago.

The Ipsos Retail Traffic Index (RTI) also showed footfall rise 3.5% compared to the previous week and that depite city footfall remaining challenged, it seems to be recovering faster than other areas.

For instance, city footfall was down 27.1% compared to towns that were down 19.8% on a two-year basis. But week-on-week, cities were up 4.3% while towns rose just 3.8%.

As mentioned, Northern England outperformed across two years, while London and the Southeast was down 28% and Scotland and Northern Ireland were still down almost 30%. But the latter did see an 8.5% week-on-week uplift compared to only 4.5% in London and the Southeast.

Ipsos also said that retail parks remain the strongest destination types on both a two-year and weekly comparison. They were down 16.1% over two years and up 6.2% compared to the previous week. One the same basis, high streets were down 29.4% and up 4.8%, while shopping centres were down 25% and up 4.9%.

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