According to retail expert Springboard, footfall across UK retail destinations rose marginally last week by +0.3% from the week before, with a varied performance across the three key destination types: high streets, shopping centres, and retail parks.
Consumers gravitated to shopping centres which offer shelter from the elements, where footfall rose by +2.2% from the week before versus a drop of -0.9% in high streets. In retail parks, which benefit from ease of access by car, footfall rose by +0.9%.
While footfall in UK high streets declined, it rose in central London by +3.8% and by +1.4% in outer London.
Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle commented: “As forecast, footfall across UK retail destinations went into a lull last week following the boost delivered in the preceding two weeks by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There was only a very marginal rise from the week before, with a clear reduction in activity from Wednesday onwards when the cold weather hit.
“Somewhat inevitably, high streets were particularly hard hit as shoppers are exposed to the elements, while shopping centres performed best of the three destination types, reflecting the advantage of their temperature controlled internal environments.
“While footfall in UK high streets dropped marginally from the week before, London performed well with a rise in activity, particularly in central London, which may well have been driven by consumers bringing forward pre-Christmas shopping and entertainment trips in advance of the train strikes.
“In normal circumstances, this would be the week when retail and hospitality trade ramps up, with many employees typically having their Christmas parties and shoppers hitting stores to purchase gifts, culminating in ‘Super Saturday’: the final Saturday prior to Christmas Eve. With train strikes this week, there will be a clear impact on the trading success of stores, hospitality venues and destinations in what is the last normal working and trading week before Christmas.”
Springboard provides insights on bricks-and-mortar retail activity, tracking and forecasting footfall and delivering performance metrics across all key retail destination types. It records more than 70 million footfall counts per week at 4,500 counting points across 480 different shopping sites in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.