UK weekly footfall shows retail still not back to normal
Life in the UK may seem to be back to normal, but retail is still far from business-as-usual. The latest retail footfall figures from the Ipsos Retail Traffic Index showed that the week to March 13’s non-food footfall was down 18.8% compared to the same week in 2019. But on the plus side, it was up 1.2% compared to the previous week.
City centres remained weak with towns outperforming cities by 5.9 percentage points. In fact, cities were down 23.5% compared to the pre-pandemic period, even though they were up 2.4% against the week earlier.
As usual, retail parks outperformed other destination types when doing a straight pre-Covid comparison, although they lagged on a week-on-week basis. They had only a 13.4% pre-pandemic deficit, while they also endured a 0.7% week-on-week drop. Meanwhile high streets were down 21.4% and up 1.8% on the same basis and shopping centres were down 21.7% and up 1%.
The figures are particularly useful because they cover non-food footfall specifically and actually count the number of shoppers entering stores rather than just visiting the wider destinations.
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