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School half term boosts UK footfall by 8.2%

Tom Bottomley
31 October 2022

UK footfall across all retail destinations during school half term last week, 23-29 October, jumped 8.2% compared to the week before, the largest rise since Easter 2022.

Consumers particularly visited retail destinations such as coastal and historic towns “for experiential days out”, with footfall up 18.2% and 10.8% respectively, according to the latest data from retail experts Springboard.

Footfall increased by 10.7% in shopping centres, by 8.7% in high streets and by 4.2% in retail parks against the previous week.

Retail in Central London was also up 12.4%, while Springboard’s ‘Back to the Office’ metric tracked a 27.7% uplift compared to footfall in the same week in 2021.

While the overall UK footfall rise last week of 8.2% was strong compared to the week before, it was not as big an improvement as occurred in the same week last year of +10.8%. That meant that the year on year increase last week of 3.2% was more modest than the +4.8% year on year increase in the week before last.

Additionally, the gap from 2019 of -13.2% last week was wider than in the week before last when it stood at -11.1%.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, commented: “The school half term last week delivered a welcome boost to UK retail destinations, with the largest increase in footfall from the week before since the Easter week in April 2022.

Customer activity increased in all three key destination types, however, high streets and shopping centres performed better than retail parks, both of which benefited from twice the uplift in retail parks. Performance ramped up as the week progressed, with footfall peaking on Thursday and Friday. By Saturday, trips had tailed off, and footfall fell marginally below the week before.

“All parts of the UK benefited, although the South West and Northern Ireland were the star performers, both recording a double-digit rise in footfall. The most modest increase occurred in Scotland, where the half term took place a week earlier.

Footfall rose across all types of town, but the largest rises occurred in coastal and historic towns and in large city centres across the UK which are attractive destinations for days out during the school holiday.”

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