Apr 12, 2022
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Footfall hits key milestone as cities outperform towns in latest week

Apr 12, 2022

Weekly footfall to retail destinations may still be lagging the pre-pandemic period, but the number hit a key point in the week to April 10 — footfall to cities beat that seen in towns.

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That’s according to the Ipsos Retail traffic index (RTI), which measure consumers actually going into stores rather than just visiting the general area.

Since the pandemic began in the UK in March 2020, footfall in towns has been higher than that seen in city centres as people not only worked from home but chose to shop more locally for a variety of reasons, including not wishing to travel too far on public transport.

But in the latest week, while non-food footfall was down 18.6% compared to 2019, cities outperformed towns by 0.1% points. That may not be a big number, but it's certainly a significant one as consumers are clearly feeling good about living their lives more normally and cities are seeing the return of key visitors such as tourists and office workers.

On a week-on-week basis, city footfall was also up 3.3% compared to a smaller 2.9% rise for towns.

The RTI also showed three-year high street footfall was 22.8% lower (but up 2.9% week-on-week), while retail parks were down 12.1% and up 2.7% on the same basis and shopping centres were down 20.9% and up 2.3%.

The best performing region was London & South East where store visits were down by 17.4% compared to 2019.

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