High street retailers boosted by rise in New Year’s Eve footfall
New data has revealed that retail footfall was down 15% last week compared to the previous seven days.
However, there was some good news as footfall in high streets increased by 5.2% on New Year’s Eve from the prior week’s Christmas Eve which contrasts sharply with the same day in 2019 when it declined by 9% on the same basis.
According to the figures from retail specialist Springboard, footfall in Central London climbed by 54.8% on New Year’s Eve from Christmas Eve compared with a 22.7% uplift on the same day two years ago. However, the big increase was not replicated in other city centres around the UK where footfall edged down 0.8%.
While the number of visits rose by 7.3% in historic town centres and by 5% in Outer London on the day, there was an 8.2% decline in market towns.
Over the seven days as a whole, all three retail destination types recorded double digit declines with a fall of 11.8% in high streets, 17.5% in retail parks and 19.2% in shopping centres. However, the gap between last week and the week before narrowed from day to day as the week progressed.
The final week of the year ended with footfall in UK retail destinations down 24.5% below the 2019 level, but 78% higher than in 2020.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Despite the well documented cautiousness of shoppers in the run up to and over Christmas this year, it appears that on New Year’s Eve there was a shift in behaviour with footfall in high streets increasing from the week before (Christmas Eve).
“Not only was this the only day last week when high street footfall was higher than the week before, but it was also in sharp contrast with New Year’s Eve 2019 when high street footfall was lower on New Year’s Eve than on Christmas Eve. The winners on New Year’s Eve were Central London and historic town centres where footfall rose significantly from the week before, whilst declining in smaller local high streets.”
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