May 24, 2021
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UK footfall boosted by hospitality reopening

May 24, 2021

​The importance of dining and entertainment to UK retail destinations has become very clear given the rise in footfall last week after indoor hospitality venues were allowed to open.

New West End Company

That meant cafés, pubs, restaurants and more that have only been able to serve people outdoors in recent weeks can now open their indoor spaces. And in-store cafes and shopping mall cafes were also able to throw open their doors for the first time in months.

The result? Footfall across UK retail destinations rose by 1.1% last week from the week before. That may not seem like a big figure, but given that poor weather had meant the original reopening frenzy was followed by football declines in many locations, it is significant.

Both high streets (+2.4%) and shopping centres (+1%) saw a rise in footfall, while in retail parks — which have been much more resilient over the past year in general — footfall dipped by -1.7%. 

That's all according to specialist footfall tracking company Springboard, which also said on Monday that increases post-5 pm were particularly noticeable.

Footfall remains 28.7% lower than the 2019 level across all UK retail destinations; but in retail parks the gap is much smaller at -6.8%.

The impact of indoor dining also meant that footfall rose 11.8% in Central London, although a side-effect of this was that local high streets – which have benefited from shoppers staying local in recent months – saw their footfall declining as consumers finally felt comfortable enough to go back to big town centres and city centres.

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