High streets lead weekly rise in retail footfall - Springboard.

Visits to UK retailers rose slightly last week as shoppers returned to high streets despite the wet weather but made fewer trips to other shopping venues, a survey showed.

Source: Sharecast

Footfall increased 0.5% in the week beginning 9 May from the week before, Springboard said. Trips to high streets rose 3.9% while footfall fell 3.4% at retail parks and 2.8% at shopping centres.

Shoppers stayed local ahead of the reopening of indoor hospitality today with market towns making the biggest gains - up 5.7%. Coastal and historic towns, which rely on visitors, rose just 0.5% and 1.6% respectively. Most of the week-on-week increase reflected a bounceback after the bank holiday weekend the previous week.

Central London was the next biggest gainer with footfall rising 4.2% week on week, suggesting shoppers might be regaining confidence as some office workers return to their workplaces. Central London was still the biggest casualty year on year, with footfall down 62% compared with 24% in outer London and 36% in regional cities.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard's insights director, said: "Shoppers braved the ongoing rain and ventured back into retail destinations last week with footfall rising from the week before. However, it was high streets rather than shopping centres or retail parks that drove the uplift."

Restaurants, cafes and pubs are allowed to serve customers indoor for the first time in 2021 from 17 May. This should give a further boost to high streets though concerns are mounting about the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 that started in India.

Wehrle said: “With indoor hospitality opening today the return of shoppers to high streets couldn't come at a better time, suggesting we will see a further uplift in footfall as the opportunity to eat and drink inside protected from the elements will give shoppers an incentive to visit high streets more frequently and dwell longer."

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