Staycations help maintain recovery in shopper footfall in August

·2-min read

Shopping destinations saw footfall continue to recover strongly last month as domestic holidays helped to boost spending, according to new figures.

The latest footfall monitor by retail researchers at Springboard showed that footfall in August 18.6% lower than the same month in 2019.

However, this represented a significant improvement against July, which had seen a 24.2% decline.

Springboard said it highlighted progress in the recovery of shopper numbers, with the fall dipping below 20% for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, said footfall activity, particularly in high streets, was boosted by “the popularity of staycations and daycations in August”.

Retail parks were once again the most resilient shopping destination, with footfall just 2.4% below pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, high streets reported a 23.5% decline against August 2019, while shopping centres saw a 24% drop.

Central London reported that footfall was 38% below pre-pandemic levels as it continued to feel the impact of fewer foreign tourists.

However, it represented a significant improvement against the 50.4% drop it saw in July as it benefited from UK holidaymakers visiting the Capital.

Ms Wehrle said: “Despite restrictions being lifted for overseas travel, it is clear that Brits chose to stay home for the summer which gave a welcome boost to high streets and particularly those that are attractive visitor destinations such as coastal and historic towns.

“In large cities outside of the capital, the improvement in footfall in August was nearly double that in smaller high streets, putting them at a comparable level versus 2019 for the first time.

“These results reflect the findings of the Springboard UK Retail Consumer Report for August which identified that 89% of consumers feel some degree of comfort in visiting retail destinations and 50% are completely comfortable in making trips.”

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