Shopper numbers ease as cold weather keeps people indoors

Cooler temperatures and rain dampened footfall on British high streets last week, industry data showed on Tuesday.
According to Springboard, footfall across all retail destinations fell 2.0% in the week beginning 25 April. High streets weighed the heaviest, with footfall down 6.1% week-on-week. In comparison, retail parks reported a 1.6% rise, and shopping centres a 2.8% gain.

Footfall strengthened over the bank holiday weekend, however, improving 3.2% across all destinations on the Saturday and by 7.2% on Sunday.

Diana Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, attributed the 2.0% fall to rain and cooler temperatures in the second half of the week in various UK locations, which pushed shoppers indoors and away from high streets.

She added: “Despite this, activity rose in regional cities outside of London, while in tourist destinations and smaller high streets it declined, suggesting that the appeal of major stores that are present in large city centres was enough to offset the less favourable weather.”

Scotland and Northern Ireland bucked the trend, as they benefited from the reopening of non-essential retail and outdoors hospitality. Footfall was ahead 74.9%in Scotland and 45.7% in Northern Ireland. Non-essential stores reopened in England on 12 April, but did not reopen until 26 April in Scotland and 30 April in Northern Ireland.

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