Coronation dents retail footfall but Knightsbridge gets massive bonus
The Coronation on Saturday impacted weekend retail footfall — as expected — but the impact was worse than had been predicted.
On the day itself, footfall across all UK retail destinations was 20.6% lower than the previous Saturday and 24.6% lower between 10am and 3pm when the ceremony and parade took place, MRI Springboard said.
That said, In Central London the increase in visitors to the city coming to witness the event in person meant the drop in footfall over the day as a whole was far smaller at -9.3% and between 10am and 3pm, visitor traffic was virtually on par with the week before (-0.2%). And in non-retail areas of Central London it was 8.5% higher than last week.
There were pockets of very good news, however. In London’s Knightsbridge, footfall rose by 57.7% versus the week prior between 10am and 3pm, while in other parts of the UK where screens were erected to allow the public to watch the Coronation, high streets and towns saw spikes too.
In King Edward Street in Hull, for example, it was 3.9% higher than last Saturday between 10am and 3pm, and in New George Street in Plymouth, it was up 7.8%.
But the overall weak figures were perhaps not helped by the fact that heavy rain meant many people preferred to watch the events indoors, or to stay indoors even if they weren’t watching.
Total figures for the day showed footfall across all UK retail destinations 13.2% lower than on the same day last year, but in Central London it was 11.3% higher than on same Saturday in 2022, while it was 24.3% higher in non-retail areas of Central London. Over the five hours between 10am and 3pm, the uplift from last year in London was even greater: +21.5% across Central London, and +46.4% higher in non-retail areas of Central London.
Across all UK retail destinations, it was 21.2% below the 2019 level, but in Central London it was just 6.1% below 2019.
As for Sunday, up to noon on that day, footfall across the UK's retail destinations was 6.4% lower than the previous Sunday. Both Sundays preceded a public holiday on the Monday.
It appears that many of those visitors who journeyed to Central London on Coronation day preferred to stay local on Sunday. Footfall in Central London was 13.9% below last Sunday and 17.2% below in non-retail areas.
But in market towns across the UK it was just 0.6% lower than last Sunday. Some consumers were also making the most of the dry warm weather to make day trips, as footfall in coastal towns was just 6% lower than bank holiday Sunday last week and 3.4% lower in historic towns.
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