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UK weekly footfall rises +4.1% - driven by Greater London and the South East

Tom Bottomley
24 August 2020

The latest data from retail experts Springboard, relating to the week of 16-22 August, 2020, has revealed an overall UK footfall rise of +4.1%, largely driven by rises in footfall of +6.8% in Greater London and +7.1% in the South East.

The UK-wide +4.1% rise is a significant acceleration in the rise from the previous week of +0.8% and +1.8% in the same week last year.

All three destination types benefited from a rise in footfall, with shopping centres coming out on top with an increase of +7.1%, high streets seeing a +3.2% rise and retail parks +2.7%.

Footfall in in retail parks is only 10.6% lower than in 2019, where as footfall in shopping centres is 32.4% lower and footfall on high streets is down by 39.1%.

High streets as a whole are adversely impacted by lack of footfall returning to Central London and other regional cities. These locations generate the greatest amount of footfall of any type of high street in the UK, and in Central London footfall remains 61.2% lower than last year and in regional cities it is 49.8% lower.

In contrast, footfall in smaller more local high streets - or those appealing to holiday makers - has recovered to a far greater extent. In outer London, the drop in footfall from last year is now just -29.5%, while in coastal towns it is -28.7%. Historic towns are -34.1% down and market towns are - 28.3% compared to 2019.

Diane Wehrle, Insights director at Springboard, commented: “It seems that the increased quarantine measures imposed last week on a number of overseas destinations are having a positive impact on UK footfall.

“Footfall in UK retail destinations last week not only rose on a week on week basis, but the uplift was more than four times as large as the week before, and two and a half times as large as the same week last year.

“The outcome is a further incremental recovery in footfall compared with 2019, and the sixteenth consecutive week in which the annual decline has lessened - offering a glimmer of hope for retailers.”

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