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UK retailers benefit from half term boost

Retail footfall picked up last month, industry data showed on Thursday, boosted by the October half term holiday.
According to retail consultancy Springboard, footfall in the four weeks to 30 October was down 13.4% on the same month in 2019, a marked improvement on September’s 17.4% year-on-two year decline.

Within that, footfall on high streets declined 15% against 2019, by 20% in shopping centres and 3.1% in retail parks.

The last week of the month, when most schools were on half term, was “pivotal” in boosting footfall, Springboard said, and helped shift the average decline from 14.3% over the first three weeks to 10.9% in the final seven days.

Compared to October 2020, footfall to all UK retail destinations was ahead 29.1%. Within that, it was up 42.1% on high streets, ahead 22.2% in shopping centres and 8.4% higher in retail parks.

Springboard also found that city centre footfall had improved in October, which it attributed to the growing number of workers returning to offices. Footfall in central London strengthened from -32.2% in September to -22.2% in October. In regional cities, footfall was down 15.7% compared to September’s 19.3% decline.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, called the October data “hugely encouraging and line with Springboard’s forecast for the fourth quarter”.

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