Feb 14, 2022
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Footfall recovery continues but cities still struggle says Ipsos RTI

Feb 14, 2022

UK retail footfall continues to lag the pre-pandemic 2019 period but also to recover from the disaster year of 2020. The latest weekly report from Ipsos showed non-food footfall was down 24.6% on a two-year basis last week.

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And towns continued to outperform cities by 7.7% points, showing that while workers are returning to their city centre offices and tourists are trickling back into the UK, there’s still some way to go before we reach normality.

In the seven days to February 13, the best-performing region was Northern England where store visits were down by ‘only’ 20.8% compared to two years ago.

The Ipsos Retail Traffic Index (RTI) also showed footfall up 3.5% compared to the previous week. And while city footfall remain challenged, it seems to be recovering faster than other areas.

For instance, city footfall was down 27.1% compared to towns that were down 19.8% on a two-year basis. But week-on-week, cities were up 4.3% while towns rose just 3.8%.

As mentioned, Northern England outperformed across two years, while London and the Southeast was down 28% and Scotland and Northern Ireland were still down almost 30%. But the latter did see an 8.5% week-on-week uplift compared to only 4.5% in London and the Southeast.

Ipsos also said that retail parks remain the strongest destination types on both a two-year and weekly comparison. They were down 16.1% over two years and up 6.2% compared to the previous week. One the same basis, high streets were down 29.4% and up 4.8%, while shopping centres were down 25% and up 4.9%.

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