Rising footfall brings a boost to the High Street

In the face of the cost-of-living crisis, last week offered a glimmer of optimism for retailers with a rise in footfall across UK retail destinations from the week before.

This result is in line with pre Covid trends when footfall rose across UK retail destinations in the equivalent week in every year since 2013.  The rise in footfall last week was greater than in the same week in every year between 2013 and 2018 but it was a third lower than in the same week in 2019, demonstrating a degree of consumer caution this year around spending.

As retail monitor, Springboard, reports, all three destination types benefited from the uplift in shopper activity, but the largest week on week increases occurred in high streets and shopping centres.  Somewhat inevitably, given their critical mass of retailers, it was large city centres and Central London that fared the best of any type of town, with far more modest rises in market towns and in Outer London.

Footfall rose from the week before on every day apart from Friday, when it was lower than last week due to the high comparable resulting from the increase in footfall on Black Friday. The week on week increase in footfall was universal across all UK geographies, with particularly strong uplifts in the South West, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The increase in footfall from last week doubled the uplift from 2021 and helped to narrow the gap from the 2019 level.

December 3 also saw the tenth year of Small Business Saturdays, a campaign designed to encourage consumers to support small businesses, be they shops or service providers. Christmas markets are also well underway around the country, offering warmth and cheer amidst the doom and gloom as Brits show willing to make the most of things and get into the festive spirit.

Pictured: Manchester Christmas Market.

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