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UK footfall drops as rising October energy costs hit households

Tom Bottomley
10 October 2022

Footfall dropped by over -2% in some parts of the UK last week, 2-8 October 2022, compared to the week before, indicating the increasing potential impact of the rise in energy prices on households which came in on 1 October.

Compared with 2021, UK footfall halved to +5.1% from +10.6% in the week before across all retail destinations, with a greater proportionate impact on retail parks where the uplift from 2021 contracted to +0.7% from +3.4% in the week before last, according to retail experts Springboard.

Footfall declined by -0.2% last week compared to the week before across all UK retail destinations, with a -0.9% fall in retail parks and -1.8% drop in shopping centres, though there was a 1% uplift in high streets.

The largest week-on-week decline was in the North & Yorkshire where footfall dropped by -2.4%, and seven out of 10 regions tracked by Springboard saw declining footfall last week - with an average drop of -1.6%.

The three UK areas which saw an uplift in footfall were modest, at +3.9% in the East, +1.4% in Greater London and +0.1% in the South East.

The gap from the 2019 footfall level improved marginally to -10.8% from -11.2% in the previous week across all UK retail destinations.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “It may be a little premature to draw definitive conclusions, however, the comprehensive drop in footfall across nearly all parts of the UK may well be an initial indicator of the impact on consumers of higher energy costs that came into effect on 1 October. This is a clear contrast to the week before last when footfall rose universally across all areas of the UK.

“Footfall across UK retail destinations declined marginally last week from the week before, a sharp contrast to the rise in footfall in the week before last. Drops in footfall in both shopping centres and retail parks drove the decline over the week, whilst in high streets footfall rose very slightly.

The impact of the week-on-week decline was a halving of the uplift in footfall from 2021 from the week before, although the gap from 2019 narrowed marginally.”

Real estate software solutions MRI Software recently acquired Springboard, a leading provider of footfall counting and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics to retailers, landlords, and government bodies.

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