High streets and shopping centres post double digit footfall drops after half term
New data has revealed that footfall across UK retail destinations declined by 9.3% last week from the week before.
While high street footfall and shopping centres saw respective drops of 10.9% and 11.6%, retail parks experienced a smaller decline of 3.1%.
The figures from retail specialist Springboard also show that towns attracting tourists recorded the biggest declines from the week before. Coastal towns were hardest hit with the number of visits falling by 20.7%.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Footfall in UK retail destinations fell back sharply last week, eliminating virtually all the uplift gained in the week before last during the school October half term break.
“However, it is important to appreciate that this was an expected result, as footfall has dropped in the week post the October half term break in every year since Springboard starting publishing footfall benchmarks in 2009.
“With high streets and shopping centres recording the largest gains during the half term week, it was in these two destination types where footfall declined most with double-digit drops. The fall back to the pre half term footfall level was not specific to any particular area, with all UK geographies recording declines.”
The figures also show that the return to work meant that there was a noticeably smaller decline in Springboard’s ‘Back to the Office Benchmark’ where footfall dropped by 9.7% versus a decline of 15.7% across Central London as a whole.
Wehrle added: “The impact of those returning to work last week after the half term break was clear to see, although it seems the hybrid of office and home working is still very much established. The drop in Springboard’s Back to the Office footfall benchmark was two thirds of that in Central London as a whole, at the same time the decline in footfall in Outer London and Market towns – which are synonymous with home working – was half that in large city centres across the UK.”
Last week’s drop meant that the gap from 2019 levels widened once again to – 13.4% from -10.9% in the week before. The uplift from 2020 increased by nearly a third to 43.4% from the week of October half term.