Follow us


City centre high streets boosted as workers return to the office following train strikes

Tom Bottomley
13 February 2023

Last week, 5-11 February, saw week-on-week footfall rise by 5% across UK high streets, boosted by employees returning to offices following train strikes the week before, with footfall in London up 36.4% compared to the same week in 2022.

Regional cities outside of London also benefitted, with annual footfall up 19%, according to the latest data from retail data analysts MRI Springboard.

Other key figures include:

  • Footfall across all UK retail destinations up 9.1% annually, with a week-on-week footfall boost of +1.6%.
  • Across UK high streets footfall increased by 13% compared to 2022 levels.
  • Largest increase across destination type seen on high streets with a 2.4% weekly increase, against modest week-on-week rises at retail parks (+0.9%) and shopping centres (+0.8%).
  • Gap to 2019 remained at familiar level of -14.5% across all UK retail destinations.
  • Footfall in Central London remains -19.7% below pre-pandemic levels.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at MRI Springboard, said: “Footfall across UK retail destinations rose last week from the week before with increases across all three destination types. However, last week was clearly a week when consumers returned to UK high streets following train strikes in the week before last. Whilst the uplift in high street footfall from the week before was only in line with the average from the start of 2022, it was three times as great as in retail parks and shopping centres.

“On an annual basis too, the rise in footfall in high streets was nearly double that in shopping centres and ten times that in retail parks. By far the greatest recovery in high footfall from 2022 occurred in large city centres - in London and elsewhere across the UK – most probably driven by employees returning to their offices, whilst there were far more modest year on year increases in smaller high streets.

“Performance was positive across much of the UK, with rises in footfall from the week before in seven of the ten geographies.”

Free NewsletterVISIT