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 over the four weeks from October 31 to November 27 declined 14.5% compared with the same period in 2019, according to footfall experts Springboard. It was 86.4% higher than in November 2020. 


High streets footfall fell 15.8% across the month, while footfall in shopping centres decreased 22%. Retail parks footfall remained steady from 2019, only dipping 3.6%.

Black Friday did not mark the turnaround in footfall retailers were hoping for, with the week of the shopping event weaker than anticipated in all three retail

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High streets over Black Friday week were the hardest hit, with footfall declining from the week prior. This marked the first time there was a decline in footfall during this week since the shopping event began.

Springboard attributed the dampened footfall to the fact that 53% of those employed in the UK continue to work from home for some part of the week.

Springboard market and insights director Diane Wehrle said: “It is only when this proportion starts to increase in a meaningful way that footfall will consistently return to city centres.”

Warnings around the emergence of the Omicron variant also look set to impact footfall across the UK as international tourism will be affected by the introduction of new travel restrictions in the run-up to Christmas.

Wehrle said: “It is now a waiting game for retailers to see the full extent of the impact of the Omicron variant on bricks and mortar retail in December.”

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