The latest data from Springboard reveals that footfall across UK retail destinations declined by -3.5% last week from the week before. This was largely driven by a drop in footfall of -7.1% in high streets, whereas shopping centres footfall remained flat on the week before, and in retail parks it rose marginally by +0.8%.
All of the decline occurred in the second half of the week, no doubt in part a consequence of the torrential rain that hit from Wednesday onwards – footfall rose from the week before by an average of +1.1% between Sunday and Tuesday, but fell each day between Wednesday and Saturday, averaging -7.1%.
Footfall declined across all types of high street, but the greatest declines were in coastal towns where footfall dropped by -11.6% and in regional cities with a -8.2% decline from the week before. In contrast, in market towns the drop in footfall was half this, at -4.1% and -6.5% in outer London, demonstrating that shoppers were staying local.
The impact of the 10pm curfew on activity in retail destinations was also apparent. While footfall across all retail destinations declined by just -2.9% between 7am-7pm in comparison to the week before, between 7pm-11pm the decline was -8.4%, and between 11pm-7am an even greater -14.8%. In high streets - where the vast majority of evening economy activity takes place - the greater impact on evening and night time footfall was even more severe – between 7pm-11pm the decline in footfall from the previous week was around 50% greater than between 7am-7pm at -12.7%, and post-11pm it was nearly double at -24.4%.
Footfall across all retail destinations is now -31.4% lower than last year, although retail parks continue to be the location of choice for shoppers, where footfall is just -11.8% lower YoY. In high streets the decline from last week exacerbated the gap between last year and this year, with the annual decline moving to -39.4%. Footfall in shopping centres, despite staying flat from the week before, also slipped on an annual basis and is now -33.7% lower than last year.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, comments: “For the second consecutive week, and only the third week since the beginning of May, footfall across retail destinations declined last week from the week before. Part of the cause of the decline, particularly in high streets, was the rainy weather during the second half of the week that led to a double-digit drop in footfall on both Friday and Saturday.
"However, the 10pm curfew is clearly having an impact – whilst shopping centres and retail parks with only minimal evening economy activity are holding their own, high streets - where the majority of evening economy activity occurs - are feeling the effect, with a drop in footfall post-7pm that is twice as great as that during working hours, and four times as great post-11pm.
"Inevitably the gap in activity from last year widened further, particularly in high streets, where footfall is now more than a third lower than it was in 2019.”