Retail footfall looks strong on first of three May public holidays
Retail footfall for the first of a trio of public holidays during May was strong in the UK with a 12.9% week-on-week rise from Saturday to Monday, according to MRI Springboard.
That was almost exactly in line with its prediction, which had been only slightly more cautious in suggesting a 12% increase.
And the tracking specialist said that footfall across all UK retail destinations rose 3.8% for the week as a whole compared to the previous week.
Encouragingly, the largest week-on-week rise of 5.3% occurred in shopping centres versus ‘only’ 3.5% in UK high streets and 3% in retail parks.
Footfall rose by 4.9% in coastal towns and by 2.7% in historic towns last week, with rises in both on Saturday and Sunday that averaged 23.1% and 11.4%, respectively. Also at the weekend, it was up by 14.8% in market towns and 10.1% in Outer London, while it rose in Central London over Saturday and Sunday by 5.2%. There was an uplift 8.6% in other UK cities.
Before we get too carried away with the impressive footfall increases, we have to remember that MRI Springboard is predicting an 8% drop this coming Saturday – the day of the Coronation – compared to the previous week and an overall 3.5% fall for next Saturday, Sunday and Monday combined.
That said, it anticipates footfall in Central London and areas such as Knightsbridge that have a strong brand to be more resilient (and to benefit from lots of visitors in town for the event). This will help UK footfall to be 4% higher than over same weekend in 2022, although it will remain 10% lower than in 2019.
Steven Medway, CEO of the Knightsbridge and King’s Road Partnerships said of the forecast for retail during the Coronation: “Tourism is the lifeblood of Knightsbridge’s economy. Most of the visitors to our shops, hotels and cultural institutions are international tourists who return several times each year. The festivities around the Coronation and the preparations that have went into this historic event should draw in the region of 10-15% more people across our district. It’ll be a spectacular boon to Knightsbridge with all the same excitement that the Jubilee delivered, and only a little dampened by the Government’s ill-conceived decision to withdraw tax-free shopping.”
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