Footfall up 2.7% last week as more people returned to the office
UK retail increased by 2.7% last week from the previous seven-day period after city centres were boosted by people making a return to the office.
According to retail footfall specialist Springboard, footfall rose by 6.5% in central London and by 6.1% in large city centres outside of the capital. The rise was even greater in areas of central London dominated by offices at 8.8%. Meanwhile, footfall rose by just 1.5% in outer London and market towns across the UK, which both benefited from the increase in home working during the pandemic.
Looking at the type of retail location, footfall in high streets rose by 3.7% while shopping centres and retail parks saw respective uplifts of 2.3% and 0.9%. The increase in high streets marked a significant improvement from the same week in 2019 when there was a decline of 6.3%.
The figures mean that the gap in footfall from 2019 in UK retail destinations narrowed to -15.2% from -19.9% in the week before.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “High street footfall was undoubtedly supported by a shift back to the office, demonstrated by a greater uplift from the week before in central London and large city centres outside of the capital, than in smaller high streets and in outer London. In areas of central London with a large proportion of office rather than retail space, footfall rose by more than in central London as a whole.”