Jun 20, 2022
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Hot weather both helps and hinders UK footfall in latest week

Jun 20, 2022

Two weekly footfall reports on Monday showed that visitor traffic to retail destinations continues to climb – both helped and hindered by last week’s heatwave – but that the goal of reaching and even exceeding the same level as 2019 remains elusive.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

The Ipsos Retail Traffic Index tracks consumers as they actually enter physical stores and it said that footfall in the non-food sector remained 16.7% lower than the same week in 2019 in the seven days to 19 June. But traffic was up 0.4% compared to the previous week. 

Meanwhile, towns outperformed cities by 12.1% points, so the work from home trend is still very clearly with us.

The company said that visits to high streets were 17.6% lower than 2019 but 1.8% higher than the previous week, while retail parks were down 8.4% and up 0.1% on the same basis, and shopping centres were a worrying 22% down against 2019 and up 0.8% on the previous week.

Meanwhile Springboard, which tracks consumers in the general area of high streets, shopping centres and retail parks, said that footfall was up 4.1% from the previous week.

It increased across all three destination types: up 5% in high streets, 3.7% in shopping centres and 2.5% in retail parks, boosted for part of the week by warmer temperatures. 

But it wasn't all good news as temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius on Friday led to a 1.2% drop, as consumers worked from home. And footfall dropped across every type of town over the weekend as the rain hit. In historic towns, footfall declined by 13.5%.

It added that Central London visitors on Friday managed to increase, but only by 0.5% versus a 6.5% uplift on Thursday.

The company said that all UK destinations remain down 11.4% against 2019, although they're up 17% compared to this time last year. Retail parks are still doing better than anywhere else with a 0.7% increase against 2019, while shopping centres are down 15.9% compared to three years ago and high streets are down 14.8%.

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