UK footfall increases by 45% as stores reopen

Primark footfall

UK footfall rose by 45% from Monday 15 June to Sunday 21 June, 2020, compared to the previous week as non-essential stores had their first full week back trading again.

In retail destinations in England, footfall rose by +46.7% from the week before, compared with just +8.5% in Wales and +11.5% in Scotland, according to the latest data from Springboard.

Footfall rose on UK high streets by 47.5%, and footfall in shopping centres was up 45%, where as the increase in footfall in retail parks was up by just 27.1%. However, that reflects the fact that retail parks had already recorded increases in footfall over the preceding weeks, as they had food stores and home stores already trading.

Footfall across the UK rose by more than 30% each day from the same day in the week before, apart from on Thursday 18 June when there was heavy rain. Even then, footfall still rose by 25.1% over the week.

In England, on Monday 15 June when retail reopened, footfall rose by 41.7%. That was the greatest uplift of any day in the week apart from on Sunday when footfall rose by 49.5%, albeit that footfall volumes on a Sunday are generally around a half of those on a Saturday.

The annual change in footfall in England is now -47.7%, compared to -68.8% in Wales and -66.5% in Scotland.

Diane Wehrle, Insights director at Springboard, commented: “The opening of non-essential retail in England on Monday 15 June had a substantial impact on footfall across all retail destinations. The overall result for the UK was subdued by Scotland and Wales, where retail reopening is yet to happen. We anticipate an additional uplift to come when retail in these areas of the UK also reopens and the hospitality and entertainment industry is given the green light to resume trading in the coming weeks.”

Footfall Springboard
Oxford Street at midday 15 June

Footfall in London’s West End still remains at a much lower level than last year, down by -80.8%, as it struggles without the usual buzz of hospitality businesses and tourists.

Jace Tyrrell, CEO at New West End Company, said: “The disparity between the national and central London footfall figures highlights the need for further government action to ensure that retail and hospitality businesses can run viably throughout the summer and beyond. In the West End, we are hindered by a lack of international visitors and restrictions to the use of public transport, and businesses are being further held back by unnecessary regulations.

“Measures including reducing social distancing measures from 2m to 1m, the temporary relaxation of planning and licensing regulations for bars and restaurants, and relaxing Sunday trading laws in key retail destinations will boost sales and sustain footfall of local shoppers, then domestic and overseas visitors, and ensure that our businesses can survive through the summer months.”

Newsletter banner