UK retail footfall improves but pre-Covid levels remain elusive
UK footfall continues to lag the pre-pandemic period, although in the latest week it was down on average by only a fifth compared to the same week in 2019, which is much better than the devastating figures seen even after shops were allowed to reopen post-lockdowns.
The latest figures from Ipsos show that across the UK, footfall dropped by 20.8% compared to 2019 in the non-food sector in the seven days up to 29 May. Compared to the previous week, footfall was up a healthy 3.3%.
Importantly, cities outperformed towns by 3.4% points, which is a key development and highlights how workers and visitors are returning to city centres. During the pandemic and during various reopening periods, with people still working from home and domestic and international tourists still thin on the ground, many city centres remained eerily quiet.
Cities were down only 15.4% during the week compared to 2019 and were up a fairly substantial 6.8% week on week. Towns, by contrast were down 18.7% against the same week in 2019 and up just 1.9% against the previous seven days.
Ipsos also said that both high streets and retail parks were down 19.9% against the 2019 week with the former up 3.9% and the latter up 1.9% against the previous week. Shopping centres performed worse against the pre-pandemic period with a 21.5% deficit, although they were up 3.7% week on week.
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