Footfall increased across retail over the 12 months of 2022, slightly improving from pandemic figures.

UK footfall across retail destinations was -14.2% below the 2019 level, but showed progress from the -20.8% recorded in January 2022.


Springboard forecasted the gap from pre-pandemic 2019 footfall levels to be between -10% and -15%.

Improvements in footfall were reported in UK retail parks, which ended the year just 3.7% below pre-pandemic levels and up 11.7% from 2021.

Springboard said this was because retail parks benefited from rail strikes as people tend to drive to these locations, many of which are located outside of London.

Footfall in high streets and shopping centres in 2022 saw increases of 51.2% and 52% respectively compared to 2021 but were still 16.9% and 18.8% below the 2019 figures.

Online share of clothes and footwear spending fell from 65% in February 2021 to 24.9% in December 2022 as more customers returned to physical stores.

Greater London, the East, the East Midlands and Wales saw the best balance between the recovery back to pre-pandemic footfall level and the annual increase from 2021.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “Over the decade that Springboard has been publishing its data, footfall declined by an average of -1.3% per year each year from 2009, and so in even the absence of Covid, footfall across UK retail destinations would now be circa -4% lower than in 2009. 

“Taking this into account, with all things being equal footfall will not return to pre-pandemic footfall levels, and in 2023, Springboard anticipates that the gap from 2019 will settle at between -5% and -10%.”