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Christmas shopping kicks in as UK footfall rises +19.5%

Tom Bottomley
14 December 2020

Footfall across all UK retail destinations rose +19.5% last week, between 6-12 December – compared to the week before, with rises of +26.3% in shopping centres and +21.1% in high streets as Christmas shopping really kicks in.

In what was the second week of non-essential stores reopening since the end of Lockdown 2, the latest data from retail experts Springboard shows real consumer desire to get back to shopping in bricks and mortar stores.

The rise in footfall of +19.5% over the week is a sharp contrast with the same week in 2019, when footfall declined by -0.9%.

Footfall in retail parks rose by +9%, however in shopping parks - those parks dominated by high street retailers - footfall rose by +15.5%.

The ongoing attractiveness of retail parks is evident by the fact that footfall in that type of destination is just 8.6% lower than last year, largely due to the presence of food stores, and so starting from a much higher base.

Despite footfall increases over the past two weeks, it remains substantially lower than last year, at -29.9% across all destinations compared to the same time in 2019.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “In the second week following the reopening of non-essential retail stores footfall across UK retail destinations continued to rise. The uplift was smaller than in the first week, but it was still significantly greater than in the second week following the reopening of retail in June, indicating the desire of shoppers to visit bricks and mortar stores in the run up to Christmas. 

“The demand by shoppers to visit retail destinations is highlighted by the contrast with this week in 2019 when footfall declined, following a surge in demand in the previous two weeks, most likely as a result of Black Friday.

“By far the greatest rises occurred in shopping centres and high streets, with the largest shopping centres being the most in demand by shoppers. However, despite the continuing increase in footfall from the week before, footfall remains substantially below the 2019 level.”

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