Footfall across UK retail destinations rose again last week on the anniversary of the first national lockdown and as the easing of restrictions on non-essential shops draws closer, according to the latest data from retail analysts Springboard.
Footfall was up 6.6% from the week before, which is a big improvement on the 0.5% jump seen the previous week. Footfall was 68.1% higher than in the same week in 2020, but remained 57.3% lower than in the same week in 2019.
Footfall on high streets rose 6.6% from the week before following a 4% increase the previous week. However, the biggest difference was seen at retail parks and shopping centres. At retail parks, footfall rose 9% last week following a 4.4% drop two weeks ago. Springboard said shoppers were refreshing their gardens ahead of the relaxation of Covid lockdown rules, which means that six people or two households can meet outdoors or in gardens from Monday.
Footfall at shopping centres also improved, from a decline of 2.3% two weeks ago to a rise of 4.3% last week.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “Despite the significant gap in activity levels from 2019, footfall once again rose last week from the week before as it has done so in eight of the past nine weeks.
“However, the uplift was much larger last week, and this was primarily a result of far greater footfall in retail parks and shopping centres; the rise in retail parks most likely due to shoppers upgrading their gardens in advance of the relaxation of restrictions this week.”
According to the lockdown easing roadmap outlined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month, non-essential shops in England will be allowed to reopen on 12 April.