Footfall across UK retail destinations showed little growth in August as consumers limited their leisure trips.

Overall footfall across all UK retail destinations inched up 0.2% in August from July, versus a decline of 0.3% in July from June, according to MRI Springboard.

High street footfall and shopping centre footfall rose by 0.7%, while the number of visitors in retail parks was 1.5% lower in August compared to July.

Weekday footfall was 2.7% higher, but weekend footfall in August was 3.8% lower than the previous month. 


Annual footfall across UK retail destinations increased. High streets saw an annual rise of 1.2%, retail parks were up 2.2% and shopping centres were up 2.9%.

The gap from pre-pandemic footfall narrowed to -11% in August from -12.1% in July.

MRI Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “Footfall performance in August points to a continuing weakening in consumer demand, which is unsurprising given the recent rises in interest rates and ongoing high level of inflation.

“Somewhat inevitably the weakening in consumer demand disproportionately impacts footfall over the weekend, when a far greater proportion of trips are leisure based and therefore discretionary, rather than being for work-related purposes. 

“Across UK retail destinations, whilst weekday footfall rose by 2.7% from July, footfall during the weekend period was 3.8% lower than in the month before.

“This was not only the third consecutive month when footfall during weekends underperformed the weekday period, but the delta of 6.5% between weekday and weekend performance was the largest yet.

“Despite the adverse outcome in August, a glimmer of optimism is provided by the fact that the gap from the 2019 footfall level narrowed marginally to -11% from -12.1% in July.

“However, with consumers already pulling back on their shopping activity – particularly leisure-based trips – it suggests that Q4 will lead to even more cautious buying behaviour and a challenging trading landscape for UK retail over the festive period.”