London shines as UK weekly footfall strengthens on half-term boost
After a series of lacklustre numbers across much of October, UK footfall bounced back strongly at the end of the month, boosted by last week’s school half-term holiday.
Store visits across all retail destinations rose by 11.1% week-on-week in the seven days covering 24-30 October, according to Springboard. Central London proved the strongest attraction with footfall rising 19.4% week-on-week.
Not only was it the best overall performance of last month, but was just shy of the 11.6% rise recorded in the week before the late May bank holiday, it noted.
High streets and shopping centres last week benefited the most with rises of 12.1% and 15.2% from the previous week. Footfall rose a more modest 4.7% in retail parks.
Over the five days from Monday to Friday, the overall increase was even greater, at 15.5%, rising 20.6% in shopping centres, 17.5% in high streets, and 5.7% in retail parks.
Footfall rose across all types of town centre, but the opportunity for consumers to make trips further afield during the half-term break meant that there was a greater rise in footfall in towns that are more attractive to visitors than in local high streets.
Footfall in coastal and historic towns rose by 18.9% and 12.6% respectively, while in regional cities outside of central London it rose by 16.1%.
The uplift in activity also spanned the entire day, with an increase in high street footfall from the week before of 16% between 11am and 5pm and 12.7% post-5pm.
The boost in footfall last week meant that the gap from 2019 also narrowed to -10.9% across all retail destinations from -15.3% last week, with footfall 34.8% higher than in the same week in 2020 (27.9% higher last week).
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