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Credit: pixabay

Christmas shopping almost triples UK retail footfall

According to Springboard, footfall in UK retail destinations rose by +4.1% last week from the week before, a considerable improvement from the rise of +1.5% in the previous week.

In high streets the increase was even greater at +6.2%, nearly double the rise of +3.3% in shopping centers. The rise in footfall of +0.4% in retail parks was the most modest by far of the three destination types, however, it was still a marked improvement from the – 1.1% drop in the week before.

Footfall rose from the week before on every day last week, apart from Sunday, and peaked on Wednesday and Friday when it rose by +7.7% and 9%, respectively. In high streets on those two days,  footfall rose by even more by +10.4% and +13.1%.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “The beginning of the Christmas trading period began in earnest in many retail destinations last week, and it had an increasingly positive impact on shopper activity, ahead of Black Friday. Across the week as a whole, the increase in footfall last week was nearly three times that of the week before.”

Credit: Springboard

There were increases in footfall across all types of town center last week, with the greatest rises in Central London at +8.3% and regional cities outside of the capital at +11.4% as shoppers gravitated to larger destinations where Christmas festivities have commenced. In Outer London and Market towns the rise in footfall was far more modest at +2.2% and +3.6%.

The increase in footfall last week from the week before spanned every part of the UK, with uplifts in all UK geographies that ranged from +2.6% in the East to +7.6% in Wales.

Last week’s footfall uplift meant that the gap from 2019 continued to narrow to -12.4% compared with -14.8% in the week before. In high streets, the gap from 2019 was even smaller at -11.9% whilst in shopping centers it remained at -21.1% indicating that two years ago footfall was far stronger than it is currently. Footfall currently remains more than double the level last year at +107.6% and +137.9% greater in high streets.

Wehrle concludes: “High streets led the charge – undoubtedly supported by Christmas lights being switched on in town centers across the UK – with an uplift in footfall that was virtually double that in shopping centers. Shoppers were clearly gravitating to larger towns and cities in order to soak up the Christmas atmosphere.”

Credit: Springboard