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Oxford Street worst hit UK high street with footfall 52% lower than pre-pandemic, data says

Camilla Rydzek
27 May 2022

Oxford Street has been identified as the UK's worst hit high street with footfall still 52% lower than pre-pandemic levels, new data shows. 

An RSM analysis of the latest Datscha data has revealed that London's Oxford Street has been impacted by fewer commuters, hybrid working and fewer international and business travellers frequenting the city centre.

However, London saw a slight increase in month-on-month footfall of 5% in April. Overall UK footfall was up 4% in April compared to the previous month, due to a 23% increase in Leeds, 16% in Glasgow and 11% in Manchester. Brighton's footfall, however, remained flat while Guildford saw an 8% fall, although it still exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

Even though there have been signs of recovery, across the UK footfall as a whole has remained 28% lower than in 2019.

Jacqui Baker, Partner and Head of Retail at RSM UK, said: “With fears that the cost of living crisis could deter consumers away from the high street, it will come as positive news for retailers that some areas have seen a considerable increase in footfall levels.

"Easter holidays and an improvement in weather are both likely to have played a part, as people make the most of the opportunity to shop and socialise. More workers are returning to the office and therefore boosting footfall levels, but London is still at less than half its capacity when compared to pre-pandemic levels.”

“Unfortunately, it’s likely this will continue until the summer when it’s hoped that more international tourists will visit the UK and footfall returns to much healthier levels.”

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