Footfall at UK retail destinations fell last week ahead of the reopening of non-essential shops, according to research released on Monday by retail analysts Springboard.
Footfall was down 9.6% from the previous week, dropping 10.3% at shopping centres, 9.6% on high streets and 8.9% at retail parks.
Springboard attributed the decline to the cold weather and “the consequential lack of incentive to make visits to destinations when the vast majority of stores are closed, just days before non-essential retail reopening”.
Across the UK, footfall remained 56.5% lower than in 2019 but more than double the level in the same week last year.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “In what we all hope will be the final week of lockdown, footfall in UK retail destinations last week dipped from the week previously for only the second time since mid-January.
“In part this was a consequence of the much colder weather, and even snow showers, in some parts of the UK, but also likely to be due the fact that shoppers were holding back on making visits in anticipation of stores reopening this week.”
Non-essential shops, gyms and restaurants and pubs with outdoor spaces have all reopened on Monday following months of closure after the third national lockdown.