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UK footfall in August suggests a turning point for retail

New data has shown that August marked a turning point for UK retail footfall as the number of visits to retail locations declined by 18.6% on… View Article

SHOPPING CENTRES, HIGH STREETS & RETAIL PARKS

UK footfall in August suggests a turning point for retail

New data has shown that August marked a turning point for UK retail footfall as the number of visits to retail locations declined by 18.6% on 2019 levels compared to a drop of 24.2% in July.

The figures from retail researchers at Springboard reveal that this was the first time that footfall levels reduced to less than -20% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In further encouraging news, both high streets and shopping centres saw the gap decrease to below -25% for the first time with respective falls of 23.5% and 24%, while retail park footfall was only marginally below the level of two years ago at -2.4%.

Springboard said the popularity of staycations and daycations in August provided a real boost, particularly in high streets.

While footfall in Central London in August was 38% below the 2019 level, it marked a major improvement on July when there was a decline of 50.4%.  Furthermore, the improvement in footfall in large cities outside of the capital was nearly double that of smaller high streets, which put them at a comparable level versus 2019 for the first time.

Springboard said the results reflect the findings of its consumer report for August which identified that 89% of consumers felt some degree of comfort in visiting retail destinations and 50% were completely comfortable in making trips.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: This boost puts bricks and mortar retail in a good place at what is the start of Q4, leading up to the peak trading period of the year – Christmas. On the basis that nothing untoward occurs and restrictions are not putback in place, it appears to be a reasonable expectation that by the end of the year footfall will be just 10% to 15% below the pre-pandemic level.”

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