Retail footfall bounces back in March
New data has revealed that the number of visits to retail locations strengthened in March as footfall bounced back to 15.3% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The figures from Springboard show that this was a significant improvement on February when footfall was 20.7% below 2019.
Footfall in the month also nearly reached the level seen last November prior to the impact of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
Looking at the different destination types, footfall improved in high streets, shopping centres and retail parks, although high streets particularly benefited with an improvement of around a third to -17.4% below 2019 from -26.2% in February.
However, Springboard said the figures are likely to offer only short term good news for retailers in the face of increased energy and fuel prices and rising inflation, which will lead to a reduction in people’s disposable income.
Diane Wehrle, Springboard insights director, said: “Alongside price inflation, the longer term challenge for physical retail destinations is hybrid home/office working that now appears to have become widely adopted. With many employees opting to work at home for at least part of the week, the recovery in footfall – particularly in large city centres – has been constrained and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.”
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