Springboard has tracked and forecast footfall to retail locations across the UK since 2002, recording and analysing more than 70 million footfall counts per week at almost 500 shopping destinations across the UK. Its data splits out regional trends, and also separates different types of retail locations, painting a picture of how high streets are performing against shopping centres and retail parks. Footfall was decimated during the covid-19 crisis as consumers were forced to stay at home during national lockdowns. Springboard’s data will highlight which locations are bouncing back most robustly and sustainably from the pandemic.
Footfall to UK retail destinations dropped for the third month in a row as the cost-of-living crisis kept budget-conscious customers at home.
Footfall strengthened across retail destinations in August, driven by better weather conditions
While retail footfall has fallen across all parts of the UK, the cost-of-living crisis is deepening existing financial disparities between North and South.
Shopper numbers were boosted by the platinum jubilee in June, but footfall is expected to remain behind pre-pandemic levels for the “foreseeable future” as the cost-of-living crisis impacts consumer behaviour.
Footfall dropped across city centre shopping destinations as people opted to stay home and avoid the strikes.
Footfall in April dropped across all retail destinations as the sector waits to see whether the month will be a precursor for the future as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.
Footfall made a noticeable recovery in March compared with February, almost returning to the levels recorded last year before the Omicron variant emerged.
Footfall rose slightly in February compared to January as more workers returned to offices and Covid-19 restrictions came to an end.
Footfall to retail destinations slumped in the week following Christmas despite an uptick in traffic on New Year’s Eve.
Surging cases of the Omicron variant have hit retail footfall and dampened any hopes of a sales surge on the last weekend before Christmas.
Footfall in November was down compared to October as people continued to work from home for at least part of the week, while tourism remained lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Footfall across high streets, retail parks and shopping centres showed an improvement in October, leaving the sector optimistic about a strong start to Black Friday and Christmas.
Footfall rose in September, narrowing the gap with pre-pandemic levels, boosted by staycations, day trips and the return to the office.
Footfall in August improved by nearly a quarter, while the gap with pre-pandemic levels closed to less than 20% for the first time since the beginning of the crisis.
Footfall over the month of July was down compared with June due to changeable weather conditions and an increase in the number of people being told to self-isolate.
The pushing back of the final relaxing of social-distancing measures and unseasonably wet weather combined to slow footfall recovery across the UK.
Retail Week analyses the toll taken on retail destinations over the past 15 months, how they will fare in future and what plans all stakeholders – from local authorities to retailers and landlords – have put in place to bounce back or build momentum.
Figures from both Springboard and the BRC show strong footfall recovery since non-essential stores reopened in April but the numbers are still down on pre-pandemic levels.
How will a year of on-off restrictions impact how we shop going forward? As we near the end of lockdown, Retail Week teams up with Walnut Unlimited to ask consumers what their post-lockdown spending priorities are and how they differ to life before Covid.
Footfall across all retail destinations rose between January and February this year, as customers flocked back to stores in anticipation of the easing of lockdown restrictions.