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Heatwave prompts drop in UK high street footfall

Sophie Smith
18 July 2022

Today's heatwave has caused a drop in footfall of 7.3% across UK high streets, according to data from Springboard. The data shows footfall across UK destinations up to 11am today compared to last week.

In city centres across the UK footfall was 11.5% lower and 16.1% lower in Central London. However, high streets in coastal towns have seen a surge in footfall by 9%.

With temperatures lower than in England, the only parts of the UK where high street footfall rose from last Monday were Scotland by 0.6%, Northern Ireland by 0.6% and Wales by 3.2%.

At shopping centres and retail parks across the UK, which offer air conditioned environments, footfall rose by 1.6% and 1.3% respectively.

However, footfall across all retail destinations in the UK dropped by 3%, with Greater London down by 10.2%, the West Midlands by 6.8% and East Midlands by 5.8%.

Against Springboard's Central London "Back to the Office" benchmark, which tracks footfall in areas of Central London that are in close proximity to offices, footfall was down by 18.1%. Springboard attributes this to additional people working from home, as advised.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: "Typically when the weather hot and sunny, shoppers gravitate to outdoor locations, and so footfall in high streets tends to increase while decreasing in shopping centres. However, with the extreme heat today the reverse has occurred, with a drop in footfall in high streets. As the day progresses and the heat increases, we are anticipating that the gap between footfall in high streets and shopping centres will widen further.”

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