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Bank holiday weekend drives UK footfall up 12.9%

Lauretta Roberts
02 May 2023

UK footfall across all UK retail destinations over the bank holiday weekend rose 12.9% across Saturday and Sunday, 29 and 30 April, compared the weekend before.

It was slightly higher than the 12% rise forecast by UK footfall analysts MRI Springboard, ahead of Bank Holiday Monday, 1 May.

Footfall across all UK retail destinations also rose by 3.8% last week from the previous week, with the largest week on week rise of 5.3% occurring in shopping centres, versus +3.5% in UK high streets and +3% in retail parks.

Footfall rose by 4.9% in coastal towns last week compared to the week before, and by +2.7% in historic towns. It also rose 14.8% in market towns and by +10.1% in outer London, while footfall rose in Central London over Saturday and Sunday by 5.2% and by +8.6% in cities outside of the capital.

However, MRI Springboard forecasts a -8% drop in footfall on the King’s Coronation day, Saturday 6 May, versus the Saturday just gone, and -3.5% lower footfall over the three days from Saturday to Monday.

Despite that, MRI Springboard also forecasts that Central London will see an uplift in footfall next weekend, with a +4% boost in the capital expected compared to 2022.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at MRI Springboard, said: “Footfall across UK retail destinations continued to strengthen last week in the lead up to the early spring bank holiday weekend, with footfall rising from the week before last across all three key destination types.

“With the rise in footfall over the bank holiday weekend on track with MRI Springboard’s forecast, we are anticipating a drop in footfall over the Coronation weekend. This is also likely to occur in Central London, but to a lesser degree as the rise in footfall this weekend was not as great as across the UK and many people will visit the capital to witness the event.

“Whilst the overall footfall level in Central London will be lower than over the weekend just gone, in areas like Knightsbridge, that are iconic in terms of the ‘British brand’ but relatively distant from Westminster Abbey, we are anticipating that footfall will be more resilient.”

Steven Medway, CEO of the Knightsbridge and King’s Road Partnerships, added: “Tourism is the lifeblood of Knightsbridge’s economy. Most of the visitors to our shops, hotels and cultural institutions are international tourists who return several times each year.

“The festivities around the Coronation and the preparations that have gone into this historic event should draw in the region of 10-15% more people across our district. “It’ll be a spectacular boon to Knightsbridge with all the same excitement that the Jubilee delivered, and only a little dampened by the Government’s ill-conceived decision to withdraw tax-free shopping.”

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